Demand for Arktis Radiation Detectors systems is growing rapidly and the company recently secured contracts with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) supporting its revolutionary SIGMA program, as well as with the UK-based Atomic Weapons Establishment. In addition, it was awarded a contract at the port of Antwerp for seven radiation portal monitors fully integrated into the port’s infrastructure and with the Swiss authorities for radiation detection.
According to DARPA, “The SIGMA program aims to revolutionize detection and deterrent capabilities for countering nuclear terrorism. The desire for significantly lower-cost and more capable radiation detectors is a common element of multiple detection concepts-of-operations (CONOPs). A key component of SIGMA thus involves developing novel approaches to achieve low-cost, high-efficiency, packaged radiation detectors with spectroscopic gamma and neutron sensing capability. The program will seek to leverage existing infrastructure to help enable these next-generation detectors and their deployment in order to demonstrate game-changing detection and deterrent systems.”
“If SIGMA is successful,” DARPA said, “the ubiquitous availability of cheaper and more efficient detectors will permit ample CONOPs to enhance the security of US citizens and service members around the world.”
Arktis’ mission is to provide smart tools to avoid trafficking of illicit radiological and nuclear materials around the globe. The new investment will enable the company to step up production of its next generation radiation detection systems, which feature proprietary technology developed by thescientists and engineers at its headquarters in Zurich.
Arktis products leverage the use of natural helium as opposed to the scarce and expensive He-3 isotope or other sometimes even toxic materials used in many legacy systems.
Arktis Radiation Detectors develops and manufactures next generation systems that detect and identify radioactive and nuclear materials, contaminated cargo and other illicit materials.
Arktis said it “is set to accelerate growth plans and the market reach of its innovative radiation detection product line following major additional funding from new and existing investors” through Venture Capital firms b-to-v Partners AG and Aventic Partners AG having joined existing investors in committing $10 million in new funding.
Arktis works with governments and agencies across the globe, supplying systems that improve security at ports, airports and border crossings. Its products are also well received in the nuclear safeguards community, which includes working with the University of Florida, the Korean Institute for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Control and Korean universities to improve the safe storage of spent nuclear fuel.
Rico Chandra, CEO of Arktis Radiation Detectors, said the new funding will accelerate the company’s continued growth and enable it to exploit the opportunities that are now emerging for its technology, particularly in the US and Europe. It will also allow the company to explore new market opportunities, expand its sales force and ramp up production for volume manufacturing.
“This new investment comes at a very exciting time for our company and will provide a massive boost to our expansion plans,” Chandra said, saying, “Our systems are already making a major contribution to security across the globe and we continue to see a growth in demand. We will now be able to focus on bringing our portfolio of products to a whole new range of customers."
Dr. Peter Balsiger, prospective board member for Arktis Radiation Detectors representing shareholder AM-Tec Kredit AG, said, “AM-Tec Kredit AG supports the most promising high-tech companies in Switzerland with expertise, entrepreneurial support, equity, networking and strategic know-how. We identified Arktis as one of the most promising technology companies and were particularly impressed by its market segment, trend, vision, product maturity, founders and team, as well as the sales ramp-up. We are happy to support its fast growth plan and to be part of what we believe will be a great success story.”
Dr. Helmut Schmidt, board member and lead investor for b-to-v, added, “We identified Arktis as having a leading technology with the potential to assist in addressing significant public and private safety needs. We are excited to be taking part in the company’s expansion because we regard both the present product offering and the vision to provide comprehensive networked systems as essential in the light of mounting homeland security issues around the world.”