The Department of Defense (DoD) plans to award $43.5 million to support the purchase of research instrumentation at many national academic institutions, including several in the Carolinas and Georgia with multiple grants.

The awards are being made under the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP). The 213 awards to 92 academic institutions are expected to range from about $50,000 to $900,000 and average $205,000.

DURIP supports the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment that augments current university capabilities or develops new university capabilities to perform cutting edge defense research. It allows university researchers to purchase scientific equipment costing $50,000 or more to conduct DoD-relevant research.

Those institutions in North Carolina receiving grants include Duke University with three for stereolithography for rapid prototyping of 3-D optical systems, large-bandwidth phase-locked measurements for high-speed flow research, and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy of engineered biosensor proteins; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with two for supercritical fluid chromatography in sensitive equipment decontamination and portable walkthrough and computer-generated force computation; and N.C. State University with three for optical probe for radio-frequency photonics and waveguide characterization, gas chromatography and mass spectrometry for membrane transport, and fabrication and characterization of metallic nanostructures used in sensors.

The University of South Carolina was awarded two grants from the DoD…one for molecular dynamics investigations of reaction mechanisms and mathematical analysis for data and image processing and another to develop a computational approach to the design of sensing devices and systems.

The Georgia Institute of Technology won eight grants, including those for a laser system for atomic confinement, an imaging and simulation system for characterizing material behavior, polymer/single wall carbon nanotubes composite processing, sensing and computation for passive radar and signal detection, computation for real-time collaborative design and strategic decision making, a rapidly reconfigurable high performance computing cluster, a dual-beam focused ion-beam microscope, and polymer characterization to enhance infrared-reflective optical tags.

Also in Georgia, Emory University was awarded three DoD grants for a high-power tunable laser system, characterizing solid polyoxometalate materials and catalysts, and workstation cluster for computational studies of chemical reaction; while the University of Georgia won a grant for nanoparticle mass spectrometer system and gas chromatograph system for health assessment of jet propellant.

The grants are the result of a merit competition for DURIP funding conducted by the Army Research Office, Office of Naval Research, and Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Each office requested proposals from university investigators working in areas of importance to DoD, such as information technology, remote sensing, propulsion, electronics and electro optics, advanced materials, and ocean science and engineering.

In response to the requests, the research offices collectively received 1,025 proposals, requesting $273 million in support for research equipment. All awards are subject to the successful completion of negotiations between DoD research offices and the academic institutions.