RICHLAND, WA - The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration will fund the Company $100,000 to develop technology to measure trace chemical signatures of nuclear material production. Such technology will help in the detection and monitoring of nuclear facilities and is needed to help prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will partner with InnovaTek on the contract. Dr. Vladimir Mikheev, nucleation physicist at InnovaTek, will lead the project.
“Improved technologies must be developed to detect and deter the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction”, said Dr. Patricia Irving, InnovaTek CEO. “With this funding, InnovaTek will begin development of a novel, ultra-sensitive instrument to improve the capability for long-term monitoring to detect illicit nuclear material production.”
The second contract was awarded by the Defense Department’s Office of Naval Research for $100,000 to develop a compact fuel reformer to produce hydrogen for an undersea vehicle fuel cell. Unmanned underwater vehicles provide a range of support functions for future surface ships and submarines. However, current power sources do not meet their energy requirements for future missions. Fuel cells operating on hydrogen are attractive as underwater power sources because they are efficient, quiet, compact and easy to maintain. InnovaTek will partner with the University of Florida to determine the feasibility of combining micro-channel reactor and heat exchanger technology to produce an advanced fuel processor with low oxygen consumption for undersea vehicles.
“If successful, InnovaTek’s proposed technology represents a significant step in transitioning to the hydrogen economy and will also solve a critical problem for the U.S. Navy,” said Dr. Jeffrey Harrison, InnovaTek’s Director of Sustainable Power Division and Principal Investigator for the Project.
The contracts are Phase 1 awards for 7 to 9 months of intense, preliminary research. Phase II contracts are awarded if the Research Partners can prove the feasibility of their concepts during Phase I.