The Department for Homeland Security (DHS) appears set to sign a sole source procurement agreement with Linde Electronics and Specialty Gases to extract and store helium-3 gas for future use in detection devices.

Helium-3 is deployed as a neutron detection component for radiation detection devices and the DHS believes that Linde is the only vendor capable of handling the kind of extraction and storage effort it has in mind.

The DHS plans to sign the agreement with Linde Electronics and Specialty Gases to extract helium-3 from existing tubes and store the gas for future use.

A pre-solicitation notice published by the DHS on August 13, explained, “The vendor will need to place the 3He tube’s bar codes into a database, puncture the tube in a special chamber to capture the 3He gas and not introduce contamination, measure the pressure, estimate the quantity of gas, extract the 3He gas, remove impurities, validate the gas can be used for 3He detectors, place into a separate storage cylinder, and ship to tube manufacturers or store the gas in the DHS storage cylinders that already exist at Linde Electronics & Specialty Gases.”