While S&T programs focus on different topics—screening, border control, floods, bioterrorism, the next generation first responder and others—they will all share common infrastructure requirements. HSARPA's Science and Technology Engines (Engines) tap S&T subject matter experts and technology developers to provide program-specific support. Their primary role is to provide a centralized suite of reusable products and support services individually tailored to the S&T program needs by identifying and sharing best practices, subject matter expertise, knowledge products and technical services. This allows program managers to focus on big-picture, new technology development while they address individual requirements and generally advance the state of technology for all of S&T in their field.
The Biometrics Technology Engine (BT-E) held a Biometric Technology Rally which will be the first of multiple events intended to challenge industry to develop innovative approaches to DHS mission needs; provide objective data and results back to participants to inform improvements; collect data to support the research community; and maintain DHS awareness of state-of-the-art biometric capabilities that are available for Component and stakeholder tests, operational evaluations, or pilots. Rally Participants provided a technology system that conformed to the defined high-throughput scenario and integrated with the test Application Programming Interface (API). In advance of the Biometric Technology Rally in March, the BT-E conducted a pilot test in February to validate timing models, processes, and tools. The Pilot and the Rally took place at the Maryland Test Facility. During the rally, participants were evaluated on several factors (e.g. transaction time, throughput, biometric collection error rates, biometric matching error rates, usability, and user satisfaction) through scenario testing with a demographically diverse group of volunteers. The goal of this rally was to foster industry innovation and further maturity of technology solutions available in the market. It evaluated system performance, matched technology to use cases, and informed DHS planning activities. Rally Participants received performance reports and data which included specific metrics that may be used to advertise the strengths of their systems.
A new Engine was initiated, The Chemical and Biological Characterization Engine (CBC-E). CBC-E has grown from a smaller threat awareness program and provides DHS with biological and chemical competencies and provide best in class expertise, methods, tools, technology, best practices, industry outreach, and operational insights to address the dynamic operational needs of DHS mission components and the HSE. An example capability is conducting evaluation of biological agent characteristics to facilitate hazard assessments, assess environmental stability of threat agents, and identify effectiveness of detection and decontamination methodologies against live agent matrices.
Science and Technology Engine Goals
Services, solutions, access to subject matter experts, and knowledge will be applied and repurposed across multiple
projects, realizing cost savings compared with previous S&T approaches. Over time, the Engines’ collective experience and awareness of emerging technology trends will result in a robust knowledge base and network to continually serve the dynamic needs of S&T and the DHS enterprise. The objectives of the
Engines are to:
- Increase return on investment by benefiting multiple projects
- Reduce redundancy of multiple program solutions
- Accelerate impact of S&T projects
- Increase agility by adjusting to changing program needs
Director - Mr. Robert Schutz
Liaison Outreach Coordination Cell (LOCC) is nested within the Engine Management Team and is considered a valuable additive to the S&T Engines focus, objectives, and mission.
Behavioral, Economics & Social Science Engine (BESS-E) will analyze the social and behavioral implications of new technologies, programs and policies to support their research, implementation and diffusion.
Biometric Technology Engine (BT-E) will inform applications of biometric technology to specific operational use cases across the Homeland Security Enterprise.
Communication & Network Technologies Engine (CN-E) provides integrated networking solutions, ensuring interoperable communication across all network platforms.
Data Analytics Engine (DA-E) uses emerging storage, security, computation and analytics technologies to create information leverage and rapidly convert data to decisions for Homeland Security systems, missions and operations.
Identity Access and Management Engine (IDAM-E) provides individuals and systems with a digital identity, credentials, authentication, and authorization to allow the right people the right data at the right time in a secure manner.
Modeling & Simulation Engine (MS-E) provides a repository for mission based models as well as modeling and simulation tools.
Situational Awareness & Decision Support Engine (SANDS-E) provides Apex programs with assured, secure access to databases (or knowledge bases), modeling and simulation tools and shared situational awareness.
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