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Science and Technology News Release: DHS S&T Receives Four Platinum ‘ASTOR’ Awards from American Security Today

News Release: DHS S&T Receives Four Platinum ‘ASTOR’ Awards from American Security Today

Release Date: 
November 28, 2017

For Immediate Release
DHS S&T Press Office, (202) 254-2296

WASHINGTON – Four Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) research and development projects received top ASTOR Homeland Security Awards from American Security Today in a ceremony November 16, at the ISC East Security Conference in New York City.

“Whether we are working to protect the traveling public, mitigate the effects of disasters, or better equip our nation’s first responders, S&T is making critical investments in technology that will help secure the homeland,” said William N. Bryan, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology for the Department of Homeland Security. “It is an honor to be recognized by the security community for our important research and development efforts behind S&T’s mission to safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.”

The ASTOR Homeland Security Awards recognize outstanding efforts in physical, IT, and port security; law enforcement, and emergency response to “Keep our Nation Secure, One City at a Time.” The four DHS S&T programs and technologies that received the awards include:

  • Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment (EDGE) is a simulation tool for training in critical incident response for first responders in every jurisdiction within the nation. S&T's First Responders Group leveraged investments and technological advancements made by the U.S. Army and Cole Engineering Services Inc., as well as input from first responders, to create a series of realistic environments that allow training across all emergency response disciplines with varying levels of difficulty and requiring them the successfully employ tactics, techniques and procedures to advance the response.. The system is provided at no cost to first responder agencies and a new version coming soon will address critical incidents in a school environment.
  • S&T’s Flood Apex Program brings together new and emerging technologies designed to increase communities’ resilience to flood disasters, and reduce fatalities and property loss. S&T is developing low-cost sensors that will send smartphone alerts and warnings to agencies and citizens in affected areas. The Flood Apex Program is also implementing predictive data analysis tools to FEMA, state and local governments, and other stakeholders to help anticipate where and when floods will strike and better understand the damage potential.
  • Resilient Tunnel Plug (RTP) is a giant inflatable plug designed to seal off subway tunnels from flooding and stop water from flowing throughout the subway system into stations and other subway lines. This innovative and groundbreaking technology from S&T, working in conjunction with ILC Dover, the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and West Virginia University, integrates seamlessly into a subway tunnel without impeding the flow of normal train traffic, but can be quickly inflated to stop water from rushing through the tunnel and remain inflated to withstand the incredible pressure of restrained floodwaters.
  • Surface Transportation Explosives Threat Detection (STETD) Program is working to provide the surface transportation end-user community with the capability to screen for potential threat items at the speed of the traveling public. With an average passenger throughput of 100-200 people per minute and the inherent openness of the surface transportation environment, the STETD Program, part of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Explosives Division, is leveraging university and industry research to develop technologies which will allow for the safe and rapid screening of people and carried items from a distance without negatively impacting the speed of travel while maintaining individual privacy. 

To learn more about these and other important programs underway at the DHS Science and Technology Directorate, visit http://scitech.dhs.gov

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