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Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency

Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency

Current News

Updates on the Integrated Product Team (IPT)

For Fiscal Year 2017 and 2018 (FY17/18) the DHS Integrated Product Teams for Research nd Development is entering its second cycle with more momentum and an enhanced process to better inform the Department's high priority R&D investment decisions. Designed to be a collaborative, cross-Component endeavor, IPTs work diligently with all components to generate the highest quality R&D data. Additionally, IPT Operations developed and disseminated a gap lifecycle model that will foster continuous connectivity between operators and technical experts.

FY17/18 IPT Process improvements include:

  • Data quality - components provided an increased level of detail associated with funding of R&D projects.
  • Data analytics - DHS S&T is continuing to develop additional portfolio management tools focused on advancing the machine learning process.
  • Standardized prioritization criteria - IPT/Component stakeholders coordinated the IPT Prioritization Working Group that established standards with definitions for ranking R&D technological capability gaps.
  • Increased decision transparency - Parts of the FY17 IPT Annual Report utilize the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) that results in improved efficiencies regarding R&D gap ranking and prioritization.

 Learn more about our IPTs.

IDAM-E working to detect fraud while protecting privacy

On August 11th Anil John, Identity and Access Management Engine (IDAM-E) Lead hosted a Viability Phase briefing on the Differential Privacy for Anomaly Detection (DPAD) project. Attendees (S&T, NPPD, CENSUS, NIST, TSA, and DARPA) received an overview of the initial results, asked questions, and had discussions about the applicability of this technology to their mission set. The DPAD project investigates if it is possible to safely and accurately identify anomalies (detect individuals, behaviors, areas, or data samples of high interest) while guaranteeing privacy to non-anomalous individuals using advances in active learning, group testing, information theory, and differential privacy. Potential applications include detecting fraudulent activity on web sites and detecting suspicious behavior in an airport setting.

BESS-E supports the Apex Border Situational Awareness BSA program

The BSA program has engaged the considerable offerings of the Behavioral, Economic and Social Sciences Engine (BESS-E). With more than 21,000 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents nationwide, it’s a challenge to develop a system that meets all of their needs.  In support of CBP’s new intelligence architecture, BESS-E will conduct focus groups with CPB agents at the Tucson Sector Station.  BESS-E’s findings will inform the prioritization of officers’ intelligence information and support critical processes such as managing requirements, operational planning, and resource allocation. 

In addition, Plugfests have emerged as a way for designers of electronic equipment and software to experience real-world device interaction to test the interoperability of their products.  While past Plugfests have received positive reviews, systematic feedback has been difficult.  BESS-E has been tapped to: develop an evaluation framework that addresses BSA objectives, develop a data collection instrument, and conduct participant interviews at the Plugfest this month.  BESS-E feedback, collected over Plugfest events, can be used to increase participation and help BSA better understand outcomes.


The Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) supports cutting-edge research to produce revolutionary changes in technologies, new capabilities and threat and risk assessments for the Homeland Security Enterprise (HSE).


Director - Dr. Patrick Carrick

Deputy Director - Mr. Robert Burns


HSARPA conducts analysis to understand component organizations current missions, systems and processes and helps identify operational gaps where new technologies can have the most impact. Program managers lead teams of subject matter experts to develop, test and evaluate these new homeland security technologies and capabilities.

HSARPA has seven main functional elements who focus their initiatives on S&T's visionary goals to include developing products that will help secure the homeland:

  • Borders and Maritime Security Division - Prevent contraband, criminals and terrorists from entering the U.S. while permitting the lawful flow of commerce and visitors.
  • Chemical and Biological Defense Division - Detect, protect against, respond to and recover from potential biological or chemical events.
  • Cyber Security Division - Create a safe, secure and resilient cyber environment.
  • Explosives Division - Detect, prevent and mitigate non-nuclear explosives attacks against people and infrastructure.
  • Program Executive Office Unmanned Aerial Systems - Guiding, assessing, advising, and enabling technical solutions for using SUAS and national efforts to counter SUAS misuse in the homeland.
  • Apex Technology Engines -  Centralized functions that provide the services to all Apex Programs and other programs with tailored solutions, best practices, subject matter expertise, and knowledge products. 
  • Integrated Product Teams - Identify capability gaps and find viable technologies that close those gaps and address components’ challenges


For comments or questions please contact our office.

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