Air Force Selects MYRADAR For Development of Technologies For Use in Nuclear Non-Proliferation Monitoring

ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ACME AtronOmatic, LLC, creators of the popular MyRadar mobile and desktop application, coupled with Purdue University’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, have been selected for a Phase I contract from the United States Air Force under its STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) program.

The two entities will partner together to develop their Hyperspectral Airborne Nuclear Detector (HAND), a sensor platform to detect emissions from nuclear facilities. The project will use a combination of modern sensor technologies together with specific machine learning algorithms to detect gaseous by-products of irradiated air and effluents associated with the process.

“Hyperspectral remote sensing data from a cost-effective small satellite constellation will provide rich and timely information about rapidly evolving properties of land surfaces, sea surfaces, and storm systems, which is increasingly needed in a rapidly changing global environment,” said Sarvesh Garimella, Chief Scientist at ACME. “The technology being developed under the program aligns with the company’s commitment to global safety and stability.”

An extension of the technology will be a foundational element to MyRadar’s future, space-borne climate monitoring sensor platform currently being developed and tested. Future missions based on the technology will monitor the effects of climate change and the effectiveness of mitigation strategies.

In addition to remote sensing capabilities, the HAND instrumentation payload will provide in-situ measurements as a high-sensitivity ground-truth “smoking gun” for specific species of interest. The addition of high sensitivity in-situ spectral capabilities complements the broader remote detection capabilities.

“This is extremely important research, and our team is excited to participate. One of our group's strengths is the development of aircraft instrumentation to better understand our atmosphere,” said Daniel Cziczo, Professor and Head of Purdue’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. “This project will give us a chance to leverage our expertise in instrument development and atmospheric measurements to improve global safety.”

The STTR program aims to foster technology transfer through cooperative R&D between small businesses and research institutions. The detection of nuclear and radiological materials is one facet of a multilayered defense against nuclear security threats, which also requires robust prevention and response elements. Good intelligence is central to this effort.

ACME partnered with Rhea Space Activity (RSA), a Washington, D.C.-based astrophysics company that develops emerging technologies for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance for the U.S. space and national security sectors, to develop HAND. “Developing a technology platform that can detect effluents at a distance and in-situ greatly enhances the ability to detect noncompliance in international treaties such as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” said Shawn Usman, Founder and Astrophysicist at RSA.  “We have deep experience in developing ISR technologies that support U.S. counterproliferation activities and we are excited to assist ACME in modifying their AI-powered sensor platform to detect noncompliance events.”

Michelle Kafka
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