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BEDFORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 6, 2005--
US Department of Homeland Security funds development ofminiature laser that has anti-terrorism applications.
Spire Corporation (Nasdaq: SPIR) has been awarded a $750,000 Phase II Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) project from the Department of Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) to develop a terahertz-based standoff detection imager that emits terahertz "light" and then detects the signal reflected from individuals or objects, imaging hidden weapons or explosives that they might be carrying.
Terahertz radiation is like light but lies in a region of the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and infrared radiation. Radiation in this region of the spectrum makes it possible to identify objects hidden by clothing or non-metal containers.
Terahertz radiation is yet to be exploited for this and many other applications because of the lack of terahertz radiation sources. Spire's Bandwidth Semiconductor subsidiary has been developing tiny, gallium arsenide based devices called quantum cascade lasers using nanotechnology semiconductor material growth to address this market need.
Phase I of this program identified critical atmospheric terahertz transmission windows with high precision, defined the best candidate imaging system, and carried out an analysis of this system resulting in detailed system performance predictions.