Block MEMS Awarded Major Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Contract
Marlborough, MA – March 2, 2012
Block MEMS has been awarded a major contract from Johns Hopkins University in support of the Department of Defense intelligence community to develop and supply miniaturized, handheld versions of its battery operated Portable Hazard Observation System (PORTHOS™). PORTHOS is a man portable passive Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer. Under this contract Block will develop and supply a next-generation PORTHOS system, which is at least 50% smaller and lighter than the existing PORTHOS and offers additional detection capabilities.
"This contract award is a strong validation of Block's FTIR-based technologies and products, which we have provided to our military and government customers for more than ten years," Petros Kotidis, Block MEMS' CEO commented. "This new product is aimed at dramatically reducing the carrying load of our warfighters, while at the same time providing enhanced protection against chemical threats and other weapons of mass destruction."
PORTHOS is a small, rugged, lightweight, highly sensitive multiple chemical agent detector and identification system. PORTHOS incorporates Block's M90 FTIR along with custom recognition algorithms. It is programmed to detect all Military C-Agents (Nerve, Blood, and Blister) and a variety of toxic industrial chemicals. It also distinguishes these agents from common interferents. PORTHOS functions day or night and is capable of either short or long term military or Homeland Security ground or air operations. Within seconds it detects and presents to the user the name of any chemical vapor of interest at distances of 0.1 to 5 km. It is available in both 0.5 and 1.5 degrees field of views.
About Block Engineering LLC:
Founded in 1956, Block Engineering, LLC is a leading manufacturer and marketer of high performance Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) and FTIR spectrometers for military, government, commercial, and industrial customers. Block's Mobile Chemical Agent Detector (MCAD) system is a fixed site, passive FTIR spectrometer offered in partnership with Northrop Grumman Corp. Block's PORTHOS™ is a portable, passive FTIR spectrometer system that remotely detects chemical threats as far as three miles and protects against chemical warfare agents and weapons of mass destruction. Block Engineering is also manufacturing and selling a line of unique QCL-based spectrometers, including the LaserScan Analyzer, for applications ranging from detection of explosives and liquid/solid chemical warfare agents to control of manufacturing operations and verification of surface conditions in a variety of industrial processes.
About Block MEMS LLC:
Block MEMS, LLC is an engineering and development company focusing on the R&D of high performance Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCLs) and FTIR spectrometers for military and government customers. Following the success of its commercial-off-the-shelf passive FTIR products, such as MCAD and PORTHOS, Block MEMS has applied its extensive knowledge of spectroscopy and chemical detection towards the development of its high performance QCL based spectrometers, including LaserScan™. LaserScan has attracted high interest in the Department of Defense for detection of explosives and liquid/solid chemical warfare agents. In addition, Block MEMS is developing a revolutionary MEMS-based, miniaturized spectrometer, ChemPen™, which is a low cost, FTIR chemical gas detector the size of a fountain pen.
Block MEMS and Block Engineering are affiliated through common ownership and share headquarters in Marlborough, Massachusetts, USA.