US Army funds Bodkin Design & Engineering to develop a portable hyperspectral imager to detect chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals

July 15, 2021
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Soldiers and first responders run the risk of encountering chemical warfare agents (CWAs) and toxic industrial chemicals (TICs). Bodkin Design & Engineering, LLC (BD&E) is announcing the development of a unique compact instrument that will identify these chemicals through spectral imaging and enable the avoidance or proper handling of hazardous materials.

BD&E has been awarded $999,999.98 for Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding from the US Army Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD.  Under this contract, a longwave infrared (LWIR) hyperspectral imager is being developed to detect CWAs and TICs. The unique instrument simplifies the design of the optical system, greatly reducing the size and weight, resulting in a first of its kind standoff chemical detection imager suitable to be hand carried, vehicle mounted or UAV borne.

Spectroscopy is a key tool in chemical identification and defense. Specifically, the LWIR region contains spectral signatures indicative of several important substances, including organo-phosphates, blister agents and TICs. Current LWIR hyperspectral systems are limited by both their large size and unsuitability for use in mobile platforms. The LWIR snapshot instrument developed under this program overcomes these limitations, has no moving parts and is capable of capturing spectral and spatial data-cubes at video rates.

About Bodkin Design & Engineering

Bodkin Design & Engineering, LLC has been providing concept development, and design and build services since 1992.  Headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts, the company serves the international OEM, commercial, military, and research communities.  Specializing in visible and infrared imaging and spectroscopy, BD&E has overseen the successful introduction of products ranging from miniature infrared cameras and dental imagers to spectroscopic instruments for drug discovery.  To learn more, visit our website at

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