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Transformational and Applied Research Directorate

The Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Office was established in December 2017 by consolidating primarily the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, a majority of the Office of Health Affairs, as well as other DHS elements.

For current information related to CWMD, please visit the following:

The Transformational and Applied Research Directorate addresses gaps in the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture and national technical nuclear forensics.  The directorate conducts research and development to improve performance, cost, and operational burden of detectors and systems.  Research and development is conducted by industry, national laboratories, and academic institutions.  The directorate collaborates with other federal research and development agencies to coordinate these efforts and maximize efficiency.    


The Transformational and Applied Research Directorate develops break-through technologies that will have a dramatic impact on capabilities to detect nuclear threats through an aggressive and expedited research and development program.  The directorate transitions successful technologies to system development, acquisition, and deployment or direct commercialization by industry. 


Projects occur across many different thrust areas with engagement from federally-funded research development centers, national laboratories, industry, academia, and small businesses.

  • Through the Small Business Innovative Research Program, engagements with small businesses meet Domestic Nuclear Detection Office research and development needs. 
  • Through the Academic Research Initiative, academic exploratory and basic research for radiation detection sectors is funded.  These academic projects will help create the next generation of scientists and engineers needed to advance the field of radiation detection and nuclear forensics. 
  • Robust exploratory research is conducted through the Exploratory Research Program, where the directorate develops technology to address identified gaps in the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture and national technical nuclear forensics.  
  • Technology matures through the Advanced Technology Demonstration Program.  This program develops and characterizes technology in a simulated operational environment to generate performance data for cost-benefit decisions on whether to transition the technology to commercial system development and acquisition.

Domestic Nuclear Detection Office MS0550
Department Of Homeland Security
245 Murray Lane SW
Washington DC 20528-0550

Last Updated: 01/23/2023
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