The Architecture Directorate was created to baseline the existing global nuclear detection architecture (GNDA), identify gaps and vulnerabilities, and formulate recommendations and plans to address those gaps and vulnerabilities. The GNDA is a worldwide network of sensors, telecommunications, and personnel, with the supporting information exchanges, programs, and protocols that serve to detect, analyze, and report on nuclear and radiological materials that are out of regulatory control. An enhanced GNDA ensures better coordination and linkages across federal, state, territorial, tribal and local agencies, as well as international partners. The basic guidelines for enhancing the architecture were set forth in National Security Presidential Directive NSPD-43/ Homeland Security Presidential Directive HSPD-14, in April 2005, and again in the Security and Accountability For Every (SAFE) Port Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-347).
The Architecture Directorate’s work is focused on establishing a comprehensive, layered defense-in-depth system of radiation and nuclear detection capabilities in four areas:
- Interior (domestic)
- Exterior (foreign countries and U.S. government international activities)
- Trans-borders and ports of entry to include transit to the United States and its borders (Maritime, Aviation, Land Port of Entry (POE), and Non-POE)
- Cross-cutting efforts, including activities that apply across or to all geographic layers.
In support of this objective, the Architecture Directorate develops time-phased strategies and plans for improving the probability of preventing radiological/nuclear attacks by all available means. Plans are developed jointly with DNDO’s intra/interagency partners and in close coordination with relevant DNDO Directorates. The time-phased plans are focused on addressing the most important gaps in the existing GNDA. Studies and analyses are performed to characterize the gaps, identify options, evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of alternative solutions, and formulate time-phased plans for reducing risk. The time-phased aspect of the plans is important because it allows for the integration of current and near-term technologies and approaches, as well as longer-term options that may draw upon technologies that are currently in the R&D phase and that may not be available for implementation for several years. The time-phased aspect also recognizes a process that evolves and continues over time to adjust plans and strategies to external factors such as threat capabilities and intentions that may evolve over time.
The DNDO Architecture Directorate consists of technical staff, systems engineers, and project managers responsible for managing the many efforts being executed with our laboratory and industry partners as well as our Department of Homeland Security component stakeholders.