The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has established the Probabilistic Analysis for National Threats Hazards and Risks (PANTHR) program to strengthen customer engagement within the homeland security enterprise by aligning chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) hazard awareness and characterization activities to provide timely, accurate, and defensible decision support tools and knowledge to stakeholders.
PANTHR provides critical technical information on CBRN hazards to decision makers and operators to enable better informed decisions to prevent, prepare for, mitigate, respond to, and recover from a weapon of mass destruction event. For further information please contact PANTHR at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Combatting the COVID-19 Coronavirus
PANTHR is working on characterizing the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. The work being done will provide insight regarding how long the virus can survive on surfaces, the potential for those contaminated surfaces to infect additional individuals, and the ability of various disinfection technologies to clean these surfaces to prevent further infection/transmission. This work will help answer questions for the DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office and U.S. Customs and Border Protection about the hazards posed by packages and cargo.
The program is maintaining a summary of open source information on the COVID-19 pandemic tailored to questions of operational relevance and impact. The Master Question List is regularly updated.
Preventing African Swine Fever (ASF)
PANTHR is working with the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) to actively track the worldwide spread and impacts of the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus, collaborating with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A), the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) and other federal agencies, to examine and reduce the risk of ASF reaching and impacting swine populations in the United States.
S&T Published Research
Airborne SARS-CoV-2 is Rapidly Inactivated by Simulated Sunlight Article (Journal of Infectious Diseases)
Journal: Letters in Applied Microbiology (Society for Applied Microbiology)
Increasing Temperature and Relative Humidity Accelerates Inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 on Surfaces (American Society For Microbiology)
Simulated Sunlight Rapidly Inactivates SARS-CoV-2 on Surfaces (Journal of Infectious Diseases)
The Influence of Temperature, Humidity, and Simulated Sunlight on the Infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 in Aerosols (Aerosol Science and Technology)
Research Activities and Impact
PANTHR strives to increase awareness, improve understanding, and facilitate effective decision-making regarding current and future chemical and biological hazards through tailored products, tools, technologies, and information. This is accomplished through the pursuit of three strategic goals:
- Risk Analysis: PANTHR develops and executes modeling and risk analysis capabilities to generate tailored strategic, operational, and tactical hazard risk assessments and decision support tools. The Tools for Integrated Evaluation of Risk (TIGER) project has been prioritized to develop advanced risk modeling tools. TIGER will be an integrated effort to address CBRN risk analysis, leveraging lessons learned from past efforts and building a harmonized, integrated capability to assess WMD risks.
- Characterization: PANTHR conducts research on traditional, new, and emerging chemical and biological threat agents to better understand their fundamental properties. This work includes the development and validation of required analytic methods to support CBRN hazard awareness and the formation of strategies to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from hazardous incidents. The Biological Threat Characterization (BTC) project is currently looking to expand to address advances in biotechnology. There are also plans to start a research effort to begin filling chemical hazard data gaps critical to the Chemical Threat Characterization (CTC) project.
- Knowledge Management: PANTHR provides a single, enduring capability to archive, access, and communicate chemical and biological hazard information. The program has initialized the Hazard Knowledge Center (HKC) project to leverage existing infrastructure and further expand PANTHR efforts.
PANTHR works closely with the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center and Chemical Security Analysis Center to support and execute a range of awareness and characterization activities.
Key stakeholders and customers include:
- DHS Components (Transportation Security Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, etc.)
- Department of Energy
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of State
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Department of Treasury
- Department of Justice
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Defense
- State and local police departments
- International Partners: Australia, Canada, European Union, United Kingdom