Advance Nanotech, Inc., announced today that its Owlstone Nanotech Inc. subsidiary, which in October 2007 was awarded a three year $3.7 million contract by the United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency, has received a modification accelerating its delivery of chemical sensor products. The Company anticipates booking revenues of $2.25 million from this contract in 2008, an increase in revenues of $1.4 million from the initial plan. The contract is meeting specific performance targets under the initial terms with the customer, and the proprietary Owlstone technology is meeting previously established benchmark objectives, indicating progress has been achieved.
The Department of Defense contract requires Owlstone to develop, design and fabricate a miniaturized chemical detector using a Field Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometer ("FAIMS") capable of detecting chemicals below or immediately dangerous to life or health concentrations levels. Initially, Owlstone will proceed with a live agent test program of the FAIMS sensor technology for in-field applications. The focus of the program will be the micro-systems development and integration to yield a sensor with a low ancillary systems (pneumatic and electronic) footprint. The final stage of this contract will be to deliver sensitive, low-false-positive explosive detection capabilities with optimized sensor packaging for field deployable scenarios.
Owlstone's proprietary FAIMS technology offers the flexibility to provide rapid alerts and detailed sample analysis with reduced flow and improved ion drive over current conventional technology. The performances of existing systems, which largely use conventional Ion Mobility Spectrometry, worsen dramatically as they are reduced in size. By contrast, the Owlstone FAIMS solution has improved sensitivity, improved selectivity at reduced power as it is miniaturized. It is not only a sensor, but a highly integrated system with the necessary electronic and mechanical components squeezed into a compact footprint. Micro and nano-fabrication techniques enable the detector to be manufactured in a massively parallel fashion, achieving small form factor, economy of scale and reduced unit cost. Unlike alternate miniature detectors, Owlstone's technology does not rely on exotic materials, custom engineered for each application, which often degrade over time. It is easily customized to each application through software updates and can be dynamically reprogrammed for new chemicals even after deployment. Use of chemically inert materials ensures a long operational and storage life.
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency ("DTRA") is the Department of Defense's intellectual, technical and operational leader for DoD and U.S. Strategic Command in the global effort to combat weapons of mass destruction. Founded in 1998, the agency headquarters is located in Fort Belvoir, Virginia and employs 2,000 men and women, both military and civilian at more than 14 locations around the world. Weapons of mass destruction can be chemical, biological, nuclear, radiological or high-explosive. DTRA is the "go-to" agency in the Department of Defense to counter these weapons. DTRA safeguards America and its allies from Weapons of Mass Destruction by providing capabilities to reduce, eliminate, and counter the threat, and mitigate its effects.