Molecular Analyzer for Efficient Gas-phase Low-power INterrogation (MAEGLIN)
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The MAEGLIN program intends to develop an ultra low power chemical analysis system for remote site detection and identification of explosives, chemical weapons, industrial toxins and pollutants, narcotics, and nuclear materials in the presence of significant background and interferents. Program goals include definitive chemical identification of species with an atomic mass < 500 atomic mass units (amu); a system footprint of less than or equal to 1.5 liters and weight of less than or equal to 7 kg, including sufficient power and, if necessary, consumables for two year operation with daily sample analysis; autonomous operation, including calibration; and a modular front end for gas, liquid and particulate aerosol, and bulk liquid and solid analysis.
In Phase 1 (covered by this solicitation) the program will be structured as three separate Thrust Areas:
- Collection – Low-power, reversible gas phase collection/storage/release technology. Modular front end sampling adaptor to add additional capability for liquid or particulate aerosol and/or bulk liquid and solid phase collection and volatilization.
- Separation – Low-power, non-destructive separation of chemical mixtures with a broad concentration range, potentially including the ability to “bleed off” all or part of the collected sample if desired. System will use minimal (preferably no) consumables.
- Identification – Low-power, high-accuracy identification of chemicals as pure compounds or low-count mixtures with a large library. System will use minimal (preferably no) consumables. Phase 2 (which will be covered by a separate solicitation) will focus on system integration and will culminate in a prototype demonstration.
Performers (Prime Contractors)
BAE Systems; Hamilton-Sundstrand; Leidos; MassTech; Signature Science; SRI International; and University of Michigan
Press Releases and Statements
COVID-19 Related Research
- Liquid and gas chromatography
- Flow cytometry
- Ion mobility spectrometry
- Preconcentrators and sorbants
- Ionization techniques
- Mass spectrometry
- MEMS technology
- Computational fluid dynamics
- Signature library construction and use
- Clutter detection
- Multicomponent fits
- Basis set transformations
- Micro vacuum pump technology
- Low power electronics
- Device SWAP optimization
- Regenerative energy sources and energy harvesting techniques
To access MAEGLIN program-related publications, please visit Google Scholar.
- Scientists Develop Device for Detecting Early Stages of Lung Problems Caused by COVID-19
- The Air Force has a bomb detactor that can sniff out life-threatening coronavirus cases
- Do you have what it takes to be a superforecaster?
- Book review: 'Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction' by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner
COVID-19 Related Research
The Molecular Analyzer for Efficient Gas-phase Low-power INterrogation program has been developing sensors to detect harmful gaseous chemicals in air. The goal is detection of weapons of mass destruction or chemical indicators of illicit activity (e.g., narcotics production). In a COVID-19 pivot, MAEGLIN is now investigating the program’s new micro-gas chromatograph as a breath sensor to detect signs of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, a life-threatening condition associated with COVID-19.
IARPA MAEGLIN Program Sensor Starts Clinical Trials
April 28, 2020: Researchers have completed assembly of the first test device (Fig. 1) and received final approvals for the clinical trial protocols. Initial results of the clinical trial are expected be available in June 2020, with more complete results available later in the summer.
Figure 1: The sensor being used in clinical trials is packaged in a shock-resistant and easily decontaminated carrying case. A ventilator or breathing tube can be attached directly to the sensor intake. A laptop connected via micro-USB collects data with the flip of a switch without requiring an expert to operate the device. (Photo used with permission)
The MAEGLIN Program and University of Michigan pivot towards the development of a non-invasive, breath-based sensor for pre-clinical detection of ARDS
April 3, 2020: As part of IARPA’s Molecular Analyzer for Efficient Gas-phase Low-power INterrogation program, the University of Michigan developed a micro-gas chromatography (µ-GC) system (Fig. 2) to sample and identify hazardous chemicals in the air. In preliminary clinical trials, the sensor proved capable of diagnosing diseases such as ARDS and asthma from exhaled breath (Fig. 3). Preliminary testing prior to the COVID-19 outbreak showed the µ-GC was able to identify patients who would later show ARDS symptoms more than 24 hours earlier than the existing clinical diagnostics. Early identification of patients likely to suffer from ARDS could enable earlier treatment of the large fraction of COVID-19 patients who develop this life-threatening condition associated with the virus. The µ-GC system is undergoing an accelerated clinical trial to assess its effectiveness as a non-invasive diagnostic tool, to help triage patients and better allocate resources, to help monitor COVID-19 patients through the recovery phase, to inform treatment and identify potential relapses. IARPA expects the first devices to be delivered in May 2020 and clinical trials to begin soon thereafter.
Figure 2: Sensor platform developed by the University of Michigan in Phase 1 of the MAEGLIN program. This is nearly identical to the sensor being tested in the clinical trials. (Photo used with permission)
Figure 3: Proposed use of the MAEGLIN University of Michigan µ-GC as a breath sensor for medical conditions.