Success Stories

Tennessee business launches Navy-developed training aid for bomb-sniffing dogs

Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)
Russ Hubbard, Army veteran and founder of Per Vivo Labs, talks with Sgt. Kevin Hite, K-9 Unit Supervisor and Trainer at the Kingsport Police Department, about the patented mixed odor delivery devices that Hubbard donated to the department after he licensed it from the Navy. (Ned Jilton II for TechLink)

An Army veteran is making the world a safer place with a military technology developed to train bomb-sniffing dogs.

Russ Hubbard, combat veteran and founder/CEO of Per Vivo Labs in Kingsport, Tennessee, donated a pair of Odor Trace devices to the Kingsport Police Department’s K-9 unit on Thursday.

The Naval Research Laboratory developed the mixed odor delivery device (MODD) for safely training explosive detection canines to detect homemade explosives. Homemade explosives are generally composed of two components, an oxidizer and a fuel. When mixed, the substance is volatile and at risk of detonation.

TechLink assisted Hubbard in licensing the patented Navy device in May. Since then, Hubbard sought the advice of his local K-9 police unit to perfect the final product.

The new training aid keeps the individual components separated within a container, then mixes the released vapors to facilitate safe and effective canine training for detection of homemade explosives.

“The Odor Trace Mixed Odor Delivery Device project has reached commercialization,” Hubbard said in an email to the Kingsport Times-News. “The initial production run is complete and assembled. The Odor Trace MODD will be available for commercial purchase on October 1. Two other local businesses have been instrumental in development and production. Partner support from Short Fuse Engineering located in Church Hill and Master Tool and Die of Kingsport have allowed Per Vivo Labs to quickly move from prototype to production rapidly.”

“The Kingsport Police Department would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Mr. Hubbard for his service and for this generous donation that he has made to our K-9 Unit,” according to a Kingsport Police Department news release.

The Odor Trace MODD is the second military technology that Hubbard has licensed. TechLink also helped Per Vivo Labs finalize a license for the Army’s rate-activated tether technology in February.

“It’s really great to see Russ moving the technology into the marketplace so quickly,” said TechLink’s Austin Leach.

Troy Carter can be reached at or 406-994-7798.

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