Phoenix Awarded US Army IDIQ Contract to Demonstrate Neutron Radiography
Madison-based nuclear technology company Phoenix, LLC. has been awarded a $10 million ceiling IDIQ (indefinite quantity, indefinite delivery) contract with the US Army to demonstrate improved neutron radiography and X-ray techniques applicable to the quality assurance of ammunition, armaments, or components of weapons and defense systems. This contract includes the development of software packages which will allow Army radiographers to more easily identify defects and interpret part or assembly quality. Additionally, Phoenix will develop and run training programs which will introduce Army personnel to the fundamentals and practical applications of neutron radiography. Phoenix will also work with Army subject matter experts and American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) committees to develop new and rigorous standards for computed neutron radiography.
Neutron radiography, or N-ray, is an industrial NDT (non-destructive testing) technique that can reveal flaws and defects in objects such as munitions, missile payloads, ejection mechanisms, and other critical components with high costs of failure without dismantling or damaging them. Neutron radiography can provide Army personnel with unique information about their assets that cannot be obtained with other NDT techniques.
"With the increasing complexity of future defense systems, a variety of inspection tools will be needed to continue to meet the challenge of providing safe and effective assets for the warfighter, and Phoenix's transition from the SBIR contract to this new contract vehicle represents an important stepping stone in the technology development roadmap," says Phoenix president Evan Sengbusch. "This IDIQ contract gives us the ability to work on advanced non-destructive testing projects across the Department of Defense, opening the door for advancements in quality assurance, research and development, and failure analysis."
The federal funding for this contract was secured by Senator Tammy Baldwin and Congressman Mark Pocan, who have long supported Army investments in neutron radiography research and development efforts taking place in Wisconsin.
"I'm proud to have helped secure additional federal funding to continue the Army's investment in neutron radiography technology," says Sen. Baldwin. "This new contract highlights Phoenix as a global leader in neutron generation and applications, and I'm pleased to support their continued partnership with the Army, which leverages and grows our skilled STEM workforce in Wisconsin while supporting American servicemembers."
"This Army contract will continue to fund Phoenix's innovative neutron radiography technology development and ensure continued skilled job growth in the Second District," says Rep. Pocan. "I will always work to protect funding for strong projects like this that spur economic development at home in Wisconsin."
Phoenix, LLC. has a long history of partnership with the US Army dating back as far as 2007. In 2014, Phoenix was awarded a $3 million contract with the Army under the SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) program to design an accelerator-based neutron imaging system for the inspection of critical defense components. In 2016, Phoenix received two additional contracts valued at a combined $3.6 million under the SBIR program to further develop its neutron imaging system and develop a mobile neutron generator prototype with the aim of conducting standoff buried IED detection. In 2019, Phoenix received an additional $4 million toward demonstrating thermal and fast neutron imaging at PNIC and developing a method to combine the results of X-ray and N-ray imaging into a single hybrid image. Phoenix recently completed a scope of work under its SBIR contract to demonstrate the ability to perform high-quality, high-throughput thermal neutron radiography as well as fast N-ray computed tomography with its third generation accelerator-based neutron source.
About Phoenix, LLC.
Founded in Madison, Wisconsin in 2005, Phoenix, LLC. designs and manufactures the world's strongest accelerator-based high-flux neutron generators. Phoenix's cutting-edge nuclear technology has been used in the aerospace, defense, medical and energy sectors to improve manufacturing efficiency and quality. Since 2012, Phoenix has designed and delivered neutron generators for a wide range of practical purposes including neutron radiography, nuclear fuel inspection, and medical isotope production.