Tunable Detection System Technology

Award Year 

The Tunable Detection System is an agile detection technology capable of detecting chemical and biological threats by using electron planes to differentiate between electromagnetic spectrum frequencies. Invented by Aaron Cole of Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane Division, the technology is protected in a suite of three patents.  (more)

NSWC Crane regularly collaborates with universities and colleges to feed intellectual property into the entrepreneurship, business, and engineering classes of these institutions. In one particular instance Dr. Jordan Moering and Rafael Estevez, a student team at North Carolina State University, explored the opportunities presented by the Tunable Detection System for their class project. At the conclusion of the project, Dr. Moering and Estevez incorporated WarpSpec, Inc., using the business plan they developed.

Dr. Moering and Estevez continued to work closely with NSWC Crane, which resulted in the signing of a licensing agreement and a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement. The exclusive license allowed WarpSpec to investigate and explore possible commercial applications for the detector before narrowing it down to specific fields of use. Since then WarpSpec has competed in and won prestigious startup competitions, one of which offered membership at a technology incubator as a prize. In April 2016, WarpSpec was selected as the grand prize winner of the Licensing Executives Society’s business plan competition.

WarpSpec continues work on a Tunable Detection System prototype, with plans to fabricate and test the device in the near future. Dr. Moering and Estevez plan to ultimately use the technology in the foodborne pathogen industry to detect bacteria and other living organisms such as E. coli or Salmonella.