Molecular Analyzer for Efficient Gas-phase Low-power INterrogation (MAEGLIN)

Chemical detection is an Intelligence Community (IC) priority, needed for applications such as forensic analysis, border and facility protection, and stockpile and production monitoring. In particular, the IC has an interest in local and continuous monitoring of the chemical environment in remote site areas over long periods of time without human oversight. However, current technology cannot simultaneously provide laboratory-quality sensitivity and accuracy, the ability to identify all constituents of a complex chemical mixture, a small, ruggedized package, and autonomous long-term operation.

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 amu; a system footprint of less than or equal to 1.5 liters; a weight of less than or equal to 7 kg, including sufficient power and, if necessary, consumables for two-year operation with daily sample analysis; and autonomous operation (including calibration). The autonomous collection and analysis of gases is a required capability; modular, interchangeable input units enabling the analysis of bulk liquid and solid samples (introduced by a user) and liquid or particulate aerosols (either collected autonomously or introduced by a user) are desirable additional capabilities.

The key overarching objective of the MAEGLIN program is to be able to separate and identify a broad range of chemical species with high sensitivity and specificity. The separation requirement enables full analysis of complex mixtures with minimal impact from interferents or background chemicals and materials, and detection of chemicals of interest with concentrations that may be several orders of magnitude below the ambient chemical background. The ability to identify a broad range of chemical species enables a single remote site detector to screen for multiple chemical targets of interest and allows analysis of subtle changes in the overall chemical effluent from monitored locations – especially when there are several possible target molecules.

In Phase 1, IARPA intends to fund three separate Thrust Areas to develop component technologies that will enable an integrated prototype demonstration in Phase 2. It is anticipated that proposals which successfully address all aspects of a Thrust Area will require a multidisciplinary team. No proposals which cover only a portion of a Thrust Area will be funded. If an offeror’s technical approach encompasses two or more Thrust Areas, then that offeror may submit a single proposal that simultaneously covers multiple Thrust Areas. Details on the metrics for multi-thrust proposals and the associated formatting and page limitation specifics are provided in later sections of this BAA.

Chemical classes that are of interest in the MAEGLIN program include, but are not limited to:

  • explosives and energetics, including military, commercial, and home-made varieties, as well as common oxidizers and fuels,
  • chemical weapons, their precursors, and byproducts,
  • poisonous or toxic industrial and environmental chemicals or pollutants,
  • narcotics, including illicit, prescription, and designer drugs of abuse,
  • nuclear fuel cycle materials and related chemicals,
  • signatures indicative of common natural and industrial chemical processes, such as combustion, petroleum fractionation, and pesticide manufacturing, and
  • chemicals associated with the manufacture and deployment of biological warfare agents.

Although the MAEGLIN program does not have as a goal the ability to detect bio-agent species directly, chemical signatures of bio-agent production and weaponization may be detectable.

Contracting Office Address

Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity
Washington, DC 20511
United States

Primary Point of Contact

Kristen Jordan
Program Manager

Solicitation Status: CLOSED

BAA Release Date: March 11, 2016
BAA Question Period: March 11, 2016–April 11, 2016
Proposal Due Date: May 10, 2016

Additional Information

Proposers' Day Briefings