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An Algorithm to Identify Material Mixtures from Raman Spectra
  • Award: $25000 USD
  • Challenge closed

Challenge overview

Raman spectroscopy is commonly utilized for the identification of bulk powders due to its reliability and high specificity; however, this specificity poses a problem when the unknown bulk powder is a mixture. Each mixture produces unique spectra at different concentrations (non-linear) and current algorithms are not proficient at identifying mixtures based on the pure components alone.

Solvers are challenged to come up with an algorithm that can identify 2 component mixtures by utilizing the spectra for the individual pure components in the library and preferably be able to calculate the ratio of the components.

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires a written proposal and experimental proof-of-concept system and/or algorithm. 

For this Challenge we ideally seek to receive an algorithm that can be translated for any commercial Raman system in the field. Solvers are challenged to come up with an algorithm that can identify 2 component mixtures by utilizing the spectra for the individual pure components in the library. The algorithm should still identify pure components correctly.  It would be nice to have their relative concentrations as well, but it is not absolutely required.

This Challenge will be awarded based on deliverables. For an algorithm/system that can meet the requirements the award amount is $25,000.

The award is contingent upon theoretical evaluation and experimental validation of the submitted Solution by the Seeker. The algorithms will be tested on the Seeker’s data of known mixtures.

To receive an award, the Solvers will have to transfer to the Seeker their exclusive Intellectual Property (IP) rights to the solution. The Seeker is willing, in return, to grant a license to the Solver so they can continue to use the solution.  However, the Seeker will be willing to consider a licensing agreement for a partial award, if exclusive IP cannot be granted by the Solver.

About the Seeker

The Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) provides a forum for interagency and international users to discuss mission requirements to combat terrorism, prioritize those requirements, fund and manage solutions, and deliver capabilities.  The CTTSO accomplishes these objectives through rapid prototyping of novel solutions developed and field-tested before the traditional acquisition systems are fully engaged.  This low-risk approach encourages interdepartmental and interagency collaboration, thereby reducing duplication, eliminating capability gaps, and stretching development dollars.