Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Chemical, Biological, Radiation, Nuclear Defense

Defense against weapons of mass destruction/terror

Showing 39 results for CBRN RSS
A DARPA program aimed at preventing attacks involving radiological “dirty bombs” and other nuclear threats has successfully developed and demonstrated a network of smartphone-sized mobile devices that can detect the tiniest traces of radioactive materials. Combined with larger detectors along major roadways, bridges, other fixed infrastructure, and in vehicles, the new networked devices promise significantly enhanced awareness of radiation sources and greater advance warning of possible threats.
| CBRN | Sensors |
On a recent sunny fall day in the nation’s capital, several hundred volunteers—each toting a backpack containing smartphone-sized radiation detectors—walked for hours around the National Mall searching for clues in a “whodunit” scavenger hunt to locate a geneticist who’d been mysteriously abducted. The geneticist and his abduction were fictitious. But the challenge this scavenger hunt was designed to address is real: The need to detect even small quantities of radioactive material that terrorists might try to bring into an urban area with the intent of detonating a “dirty bomb,” or worse.
| CBRN | Sensors |
DARPA’s SIGMA program—whose goal is to prevent attacks involving radiological “dirty bombs” and other nuclear threats—concluded its biggest and longest test deployment of vehicle-mounted radiation detectors in Washington, D.C., in February. For approximately seven months starting in July 2016, the fleet of D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services ambulances was outfitted with DARPA-developed nuclear and radiological detectors, providing the first city-scale, dynamic, real-time map of background radiation levels throughout the Capital as well as identifying any unusual spikes that could indicate a threat.
| CBRN | Sensors |
A DARPA program that is developing a field-deployable system for onsite neutralization of bulk stores of chemical warfare agents (CWA) has successfully demonstrated a novel waterless soil-scrubbing technology that safely neutralized toxic chemicals simulating sarin, soman, and mustard agents. Created under the Agency’s Agnostic Compact Demilitarization of Chemical Agents (ACDC) program, the technology demonstrated greater than 99.9999% removal of the simulants, without creating any hazardous waste by-products.
Picture an intelligence officer in the field. She is trying to piece together a suspected threat, and has access to someone who may have a role in carrying it out. There may be traces of biological or chemical agents on his clothing or hair. She can look for them, but they’re transient, and often present in such low concentrations that she’ll need to send samples to a laboratory. Or she can check his epigenetic markers, read a history of any time he’s been exposed to threat agents, and start piecing together a chain of evidence right there in the field, in real time.