Block MEMS. LLC
aerospace & defense
Block MEMS, LLC, (BMLLC) located in Marlborough, MA, is two years into the development of a MEMS Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer, called ChemPenTM. An affiliated company, Block Engineering, pioneered the development of macro FTIR spectrometers over the past 50 years. Initial MEMS work has been funded by the U S Army as this product has broad military and homeland security applications in detecting toxic chemicals and chemical warfare agents. The ChemPenTM would to be sold for less than $1,000, weigh less than 6 ounces and measure just eight inches. It would be superior in cost, size and accuracy when compared to current devices that the government is using.
This effort is supported by researchers from Sandia National Laboratory (Sandia), Brigham Young University, and Cornell University.
The benefit of FTIR technology is that it can detect any gas with an infrared spectrum (which includes almost all gases of interest) simply with additional software. In addition, there are a broad range of industrial/commercial applications. If successful, tens of thousands of these universal gas detectors could be sold to the U S government and commercial/industrial/consumer accounts generating annual sales in the range of $50 million.
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Nanotech 2006 Conference Program Abstract