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Science and Technology Directorate Snapshots

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The e-newsletter of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science & Technology Directorate, S&T Snapshots, features stories about current research projects and opportunities with laboratories, universities, government agencies, and the private sector.

Current Story

  • New DHS facility tests biometric technology, improves air entry/exit operations: (July 30, 2014) Together, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) cut the ribbon on S&T’s new Maryland Test Facility (MdTF), on June 26 in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. The MdTF, designed by S&T along in partnership with CBP operational staff, will test and evaluate operational processes using both biometric and non-biometric technologies as part of the Apex Air Entry/Exit Re-Engineering (AEER) project.
  • The SWAMP: A Key Resource in Improving Software Assurance Activities: (July 24, 2014) The Software Assurance Market Place, or SWAMP, is an online, open-source, collaborative research environment that allows software developers and researchers to test their software for security weaknesses, improve tools by testing against a wide range of software packages, and interact and exchange best practices to improve software assurance tools and techniques.

2014

  • Virtual Shooter Technology Tests Ammo and Saves Joints: (May 15, 2014) Firing and testing thousands of rounds of ammunition weekly can challenge the human body—even ones in top physical condition—causing debilitating stress injuries and chronic nerve and joint pain. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), with the help of agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Firearms and Tactical Programs (OFTP) Armory Operations Branch (AOB), has made an important stride forward in reducing or eliminating these injuries by developing of the “Virtual Shooter.”
  • Celebrating a Decade of Security Enhancements: (April 24, 2014) On April 24, 2014, the National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE)—the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) first Center of Excellence (COE)—celebrated its tenth anniversary with a one-day event highlighting its contributions and advancements in homeland security.
  • Improved Gloves Enhance Safety of First Responders: (April 24, 2014) Firefighters wear protective gloves called “structure gloves” to keep their hands safe on the job. The protective equipment firefighters wear—including structure gloves—give them the confidence to focus on putting out fires and saving lives; however, the structure gloves currently used by firefighters are not designed for the precision movements our first responders must perform.
  • Preventing Disease Outbreaks in Livestock – Now There’s An App for That: (February 11, 2014) Veterinarians are our nation’s first responders for animal health. The Enhanced Passive Surveillance uses mobile applications, or apps, to capture information on both healthy and sick animals in real time. Veterinarians can document the number of animals observed or examined, describe clinical signs or symptoms that match certain endemic and high consequence diseases, and provide specific geographic locations—all while performing examinations and treating animals.

2013

  • Training First Responders for Active Shooter Response: (November 20, 2013) The Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment (EDGE) is a virtual training platform developed from existing technology that allows first responders to participate in complex training scenarios—improving coordination and communication across all jurisdictions, as well as mitigating injuries and loss of lives.
  • Detecting Heartbeats in Rubble: DHS and NASA Team up to Save Victims of Disasters: (September 5, 2013) When natural disasters or man-made catastrophes topple buildings, search and rescue teams immediately set out to recover victims trapped beneath the wreckage. During these missions, time is imperative, and quickly detecting living victims greatly increases chances for rescue and survival.
  • Smart Scavenging—Tech Foraging at DHS: (July 19, 2013) When the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is looking for a new technology to help fight terrorism, recover from a natural disaster, or support the nation’s first responders, it turns to its Science and Technology Directorate (S&T).  S&T then collaborates with its federal partners, as well as industry, and academia, and finds these solutions more efficiently and economically than ever before.
  • Interoperable Communications Across Borders: (March 25, 2013) On the morning of December 6, 1917, in the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, near the U.S. border in Maine, a French ship, the Mont Blanc, filled with military explosives collided with another vessel.  Twenty minutes later, a fire set off the Mont Blanc’s volatile cargo and caused a catastrophic explosion—killing thousands and destroying an entire section of the nearby city.  Rescue efforts were dispatched immediately from the Canadian mainland as well as the United States, but confusion and lack of immediate information delayed some of the rescue efforts for hours.
  • Arresting a Fleeing Vehicle at the Push of a Button: (Feb. 28, 2013) In 2010, the characteristics of a squid’s sticky tendrils were combined with the concept of Spiderman’s super-strong webbing to create a prototype of the first remote device to stop vehicles in their tracks: the Safe, Quick, Undercarriage Immobilization Device (SQUID).

2012

2011

  • Where There's Smoke, There's a Signal (June 16, 2011): For firefighters, wireless self-powered router “breadcrumbs” that won’t become toast when baked or soggy when hosed. (First Responders)
  • Sentries in the Garden Shed (February 15, 2011): Plants that can detect environmental contaminants and explosives. (Chemical & Biological)

Pre-2009 articles are available in our S&T Snapshots Archives.

To request more information about any of these stories, please e-mail st.snapshots@hq.dhs.gov

Last Published Date: August 20, 2014
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