|[October 19, 2004]
Spire Receives Contract for Portable Terahertz Imaging System for Security Screening
BEDFORD, Mass. --(Business Wire)-- Oct. 19, 2004 --
-- Terahertz radiation could be used to find hidden weapons and explosives.
-- Terahertz radiation to be achieved using nano-engineered aluminum gallium arsenide lasers.
Spire Corporation (Nasdaq: SPIR) today announced that it has been awarded a $750,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ("DARPA") to carry out research towards development of a terahertz radiation imaging system that could allow detection of hidden explosives such as improvised explosive devices.
Terahertz radiation can be used for detecting hidden weapons and explosives because radiation at these wavelengths penetrates most container materials. Terahertz radiation has wavelengths that are slightly longer than visible and infrared, but shorter than microwaves. Because their energy is almost a million times lower than that of x-rays, this non-ionizing radiation is not expected to cause any harmful effects to humans or animals.
Spire's terahertz imaging system design will incorporate a nano-engineered miniature quantum cascade laser as a terahertz radiation source. Spire's quantum cascade laser device consists of hundreds of nanometer-thick gallium arsenide-based layers. The entire imaging system will be small and portable.
Design of the nano-engineered quantum cascade lasers for the system will be carried out in collaboration with Professor Shun-Lien Chuang of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Epitaxial growth of the proprietary cascade laser structures as well as device fabrication will be carried out at Spire's Bandwidth Semiconductor foundry.
Roger Little, President and CEO of Spire Corporation, said, "We are pleased to be developing terahertz imaging technology to advance the Nation's defense against terrorism. There is a lot of interest in terahertz radiation for this as well as other applications, including medical instruments. We intend to pursue commercialization opportunities aggressively."
Spire Corporation is a diversified technology company serving the solar energy, biomedical, telecommunications and defense industries worldwide with innovative products and services based upon a common technology platform.
Certain matters described in this news release may be forward-looking statements subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risk of dependence on market growth, competition and dependence on government agencies and other third parties for funding contract research and services, as well as other factors described in the Company's Form 10-KSB filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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