Be it in times of peace and prosperity or discord and struggle, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will always support its vital missions—and that includes supporting public health and safety. Here are just a few highlights from the past year:
- Launched interactive online calculators to predict decay of COVID-19 virus particles on indoor surfaces and in the air under various environmental conditions. “It is of utmost importance to know how threat agents survive on surfaces, in the air, in various temperatures and humidity levels. The answers will help us learn how to stay safe.” – Dr. Lloyd Hough, director of S&T’s Hazard Awareness and Characterization Technology Center
- Collaborated with international partners in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand for COVID-19 response through the Five Research and Development (5RD) nations framework. “In our discussions, I noted how impressed I am by the cooperation between our defence science and technology experts in response to the COVID-19 crisis...” – Hon. Linda Reynolds CSC minister for defence, Australia
- Joined the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prepare the U.S. Coast Guard for potential anthrax attack clean-up by testing different decontamination methods and seeing how spores reacted to various chemicals.
- Rescued multiple victims from human trafficking during Super Bowl LIV weekend in Miami by deploying advanced analytics dashboard through the Hermes Research Project. “We’ll keep providing law enforcement and NGOs with innovative analytic and visualization tools that enhance human trafficking investigations through improved situational awareness capabilities.” – Scott Randels, director of S&T’s Federally Funded Research and Development Centers
- Helped patent ingenious homemade ventilator prototype made from commercial off-the-shelf materials and created by U.S. Coast Guard Academy staff. “Patenting DHS inventions puts our technology in front of the rest of the world so that they can not only learn from it, but perhaps improve upon it. It’s another way that DHS puts the technology that taxpayers paid for into public use.” – Kelly Hyndman, DHS patent attorney
- Developed a COVID-19 Master Question List (MQL) to help leadership make informed decisions and maintained document with weekly updates of the latest findings. “It’s really a matter of identifying the highest priority gaps—the things that are most impactful for better understanding the disease and helping us to respond to it.” – Dr. Lloyd Hough, director of S&T’s Hazard Awareness and Characterization Technology Center
- Evaluated rapid COVID-19 test kit and provided data for an Emergency Use Authorization application to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Within 24 hours, S&T drafted, conducted, and approved legal and compliance reviews to ensure the FDA had trusted data to make an informed decision.
- Silicon Valley Innovation Program’s Emerging Needs: COVID-19 Response & Future Mitigation solicitation engaged the global innovation community in pandemic-related research and development efforts.
- Funded instructor certification training in the First Aid for Severe Trauma (FAST)TM program for 250 high school teachers across the country. 94% of student participants correctly applied tourniquet after training.