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DARPA – Decay on Demand – DARPA-PA-23-03-14

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DARPA – Decay on Demand – DARPA-PA-23-03-14


DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office is seeking submissions of basic or applied research concepts in the technical domain of accelerated production of the daughter products of actinide radioisotopes, with a production process which mimics an alpha-emitting radioisotope’s natural half-life decay chain.

One of the primary objectives of Decay on Demand is to identify a precision means of causing energy absorption into a radioisotope, to induce the emission of an alpha particle, thereby converting a significant fraction of parent radioisotope feedstock into its daughter products. DARPA is only interested in methods that induce alpha-particle emission from the parent radioisotope, and anticipates multiple technical approaches are possible to simulate the natural decay chain of actinides. Fission-based methods and methods that result in emission of multiples of neutrons are out of scope.

Decay on Demand will run two tracks:

Track 1 – Experimentation

    • Phase 1 base (feasibility study) – up to USD$900,000 over 12 months; conduct experiments to explore the feasibility of accelerating decay
    • Phase 2 option (proof-of-concept) – up to USD$1.1M over 12 months; demonstrate required metrics

Track 2 – Theory

    • Phase 1 base  – up to USD$450,000 over 12 months; apply physics theories which assess data taken during Track 1 experiments
    • Phase 2 option – up to USD$550,000 over 12 months; establish basis of theory (whether new or modified existing theory) and demonstrate required metrics

Proposals may be submitted for Track 1, Track 2 or both Tracks.  If submitting to both Tracks, separate proposals are required for each.

Proposals are due 9 August 2024.

This Disruption Opportunity is issued under the Program Announcement for Disruptioneering (DARPA-PA-23-03).


Read more.


Disruption Opportunity – Decay on Demand: DARPA-PA-23-03-14-Amendment-01

Program Announcement – Disruptioneering:  DARPA-PA-23-03 DARPA-PA-23-03-Amendment-02



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