REMINDER: White Paper Submissions Due 7/1/2016 June 30, 2016
REMINDER: ALERT White Papers are due TOMORROW. Submissions will be accepted until July 1, 2016, 11:59pm local time.
Pursuant to the goals of DHS Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate, Office of University Programs (OUP), the ALERT Center of Excellence (COE) is accepting white paper submissions for research and transition projects in 2016 and beyond. The COE seeks end-user focused projects that conduct transformational research, develop technology, and provide educational development to improve effective characterization, detection, mitigation and response to explosives-related threats facing the country and the world.
This call will consider white papers for projects ranging from fundamental research through transition to the security enterprise (government, private sector). Submissions must document the problem, describe the gaps that exist, and how their project will address the gaps to protect the public from explosives-related threats. ALERT plans to fund approximately four awards for up to two years at $60,000 to $100,000 per year.
TSA Industry Day – Innovating the Future Symposium, June 7-9th May 24, 2016
Dates: June 7-9, 2016
Location: TSA Security Integration Facility
The Innovating our Future Symposium is the first in a series of annual technology conferences being hosted by OSC. This three day event will consist of presentations and interactive breakout sessions for a variety of topics, with time made available for questions.
The Innovating our Future Symposium expands upon the following initiatives:
OSC System Architecture and follow-on technical discussions from Industry Day in February 2016.
TSA’s Passenger Screening Request for Information (RFI) to be released May 2016.
TSA’s Primary Carry-on Screening System Targeted Broad Agency Announcement (T-BAA) to be released Fiscal Year 2016 Quarter 2.
TSA’s Future Innovation Task Force T-BAA to be released Fiscal Year 2016 Quarter 3.
TSA’s update to the AIT Detection Standards.
TSA’s future update to the AT Detection Standards.
TSA update on Cybersecurity
Registration is open: Your written registration must be emailed no later than:
5:00 PM EDT on May 30, 2016 for U. S. Citizens
5:00 PM EDT on May 17, 2016 for Non U. S. Citizens
Date: May 19, 2016
Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location: Washington, DC
The DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Office of University Programs and Stevens Institute of Technology invite you to attend the Spring 2016 Centers of Excellence(COE) Technology Showcase May 19, 2016 open 9:00 am- 4:00 pm.
Explore tools and technology or talk to experts in: Border Security – Explosives Detection – Risk and Economic Analysis – Natural Hazards – Data & Visual Analytics – Food Defense – Terrorism Studies – Animal Disease Defense – Maritime and Arctic Security – Critical Infrastructure Resilience – Training Opportunities – Hosting Interns – Working with the COEs
Experience demonstrations of COE tools, technologies, knowledge products
Connect with university experts (one-on-one if desired) to discuss pressing challenges
Develop new collaborations to support homeland security missions
Meet the newest COEs focused on Arctic security; critical infrastructure resilience; and borders, trade and immigration
Learn how to bring interns and professional development opportunities to your office
Northeastern News spotlights ALERT research in Airport Security Technologies April 28, 2016
FUTURE OF AIRPORT SECURITY – Northeastern News, 4/28/2016
According to the International Air Transport Association, about 8 million travelers make their way through airports around the world each day. Traditional security requires passengers to stand still while being screened, but Northeastern researchers are developing cutting-edge technology that can detect suspicious behavior—even when passengers are on the move…
Profs. Camps, Martinez, Radke, Rappaport, and Sznaier’s work is featured in this dynamic video story.
The Associated Press features ALERT Researcher Otto Gregory’s work February 17, 2016
SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — A University of Rhode Island professor has developed a sensor that detects the kind of explosive used in the Paris bombings, to try to stop future attacks.
Professor Otto Gregory compares his sensor to a dog’s nose, the gold standard in explosives detection. It “sniffs” the air for vapors emitted from explosives.
Photo Description: In this Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 photo University of Rhode Island engineering professor Otto Gregory, right, is reflected in a silicon wafer, center, that contains sensors to detect explosives, in front of a thin film surface analyzer, behind, in a laboratory on the school’s campus, in South Kingstown, R.I. He has developed a sensor that detects the explosive used in the Paris bombings, to try to stop future attacks. Gregory compares his sensor to a dog’s nose, the gold standard in explosives detection. It “sniffs” the air for vapors emitted from explosives. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
DHS S&T hosts “The Nose Knows” Twitter Chat 12/17, 12pm December 17, 2015
Join the @dhsscitech#STTechTalk “The Nose Knows” Thursday December 17th at noon EST. Tune in and chat about improving canine explosives detection.
The Nose Knows: The Science of Threat Detection Canines
Did you know dogs’ noses are a million times more sensitive than a human’s nose? Dogs can be trained to detect a wide variety of specific scents, such as drugs, fruits, and explosives and are trained to alert their handlers to the presence of these hazardous items by pawing, barking or, in the case of something dangerous, sitting or lying quietly.
Canines have been used by law enforcement agencies for decades to alert their handlers to threats or objects of interest. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Canine Program is working with DHS partners, including the Transportation Security Administration, other federal agencies, and state and local first responders to provide independent verification of canine teams’ performance, as well as ways to enhance overall detection capability…
If you have any questions regarding the topics and technologies discussed at the workshop, please contact Carl Crawford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALERT researchers work to develop robust Canine Training Aids December 16, 2015
Because of their volatility, explosives are rarely used pure, they are often mixed with other materials such as polymers. Explosives are exposed to polymers for a variety of reason: (1) when they are “plasticized” for shaping; (2) when they are encased for safe handling, (e.g. dog training aids); and (3) when they are collected for forensic evidence or storage. ALERT has focused on finding the best materials for developing devices such as these.
As a result of our study of polymer/HME interactions, ALERT researchers have developed a method of polymer encapsulation that is used to create safe trace explosive sources for canine and instrument training. Polycarbonate microspheres containing only a low percentage of TATP have been demonstrated to last for years, yet produce pure TATP vapor when heated at the designated program rate. This approach provides canine handlers and instrument vendors with safe access to stored hazardous explosives at trace levels for use in detection, calibration, and validation of instruments as well and the training of explosives detecting canines.
ALERT has received enthusiastic support from law enforcement and instrument vendors and are in negotiation for possible licensing with a commercial vendor. In the near term, law enforcement agencies and instrument vendors are able to request these training aids directly from ALERT.
Oxley said “Some of our biggest service clients are law enforcement agencies. When some of the improvised devices came into vogue, they were too sensitive for law enforcement agencies to handle.” Oxley explained that for the Popular Science crew, her team not only conducted a demonstration, but ran a test to determine if the dogs detect pseudo explosives as they do the real explosives.
“It worked and we were really excited, because this was a first-time run during which the dogs were testing both,” said the chemistry professor and co-coordinator of the URI Forensic Science Partnership. “We wanted to make sure they could associate one with the other; that was an extremely important task.
“With K-9s, we are looking at the odor signature, and we have to do that on an explosive-by-explosive basis,” she said.She added that Metropolitan Transit Authority police took advantage of training opportunities at URI long before other groups, but more and more agencies are seeking training, including the federal Transportation Security Administration, which has rotated dozens of agents through the URI campus this summer.
Photo caption: Sgt. Bill Finucane of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department in New York works with McCarney, one of the department’s dogs, while testing canine explosive training aids developed by URI’s Jimmie Oxley and her team.