. 24/7 Space News .
DARPA Seeks to Expand Real-Time Radiological Threat Detection to Include Other Dangers
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Feb 22, 2018

DARPA's SIGMA+ program seeks to develop highly sensitive detectors and advanced intelligence analytics to detect minute traces of materials used for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosive (CBRNE) weapons. The SIGMA+ CBRNE detection network would be scalable to cover a major metropolitan city and its surrounding region.

Advanced commercially available technologies-such as additive manufacturing (3-D printing), small-scale chemical reactors for pharmaceuticals, and CRISPR gene-manipulation tools-have opened wide access to scientific exploration and discovery.

In the hands of terrorists and rogue nation states, however, these capabilities could be misused to concoct chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosive (CBRNE) weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in small quantities and in form factors that are hard to detect.

To meet this challenge DARPA has announced its SIGMA+ program, an expansion of the existing SIGMA program, which detects radiological and nuclear materials. SIGMA+ seeks to develop new sensors and networks that alert authorities to chemical, biological, and explosives threats as well.

"The goal of SIGMA+ is to develop and demonstrate a real-time, persistent CBRNE early detection system by leveraging advances in sensing, data fusion, analytics, and social and behavioral modeling to address a spectrum of threats," said Vincent Tang, SIGMA+ program manager in DARPA's Defense Sciences Office (DSO).

"To achieve this, we've pulled together a team of DARPA program managers who bring expertise in chemistry, biology, data analytics, and social science to address the broad and complex CBRNE space."

The program calls for the development of highly sensitive detectors and advanced intelligence analytics to detect minute traces of various substances related to WMD threats. SIGMA+ will use a common network infrastructure and mobile sensing strategy, a concept that was proven effective in the SIGMA program. The SIGMA+ CBRNE detection network would be scalable to cover a major metropolitan city and its surrounding region.

To uncover chemical and explosives threats, SIGMA+ seeks unprecedented long-range detection of hundreds of chemicals at trace levels to help authorities identify bomb-making safe houses in large urban areas, for example.

Successfully developing scalable, long-range chemical sensors would help enable interdiction of improvised chemical and explosive threats or their constituent materials before an attack occurs.

To quickly alert officials of a biological terror attack, such as the release of anthrax, smallpox or plague viruses, SIGMA+ seeks sensors that can detect, in real time, traces of a wide range of pathogens. The program aims to provide immediate, continuous monitoring of pathogen background levels and spikes, which could indicate malicious release of a biological agent.

New environmental, as well as biomechanical and biochemical sensing methods for detecting threats could provide system sensitivity 10 times greater than the state-of-the-art, which would enable detection of a wider range of biological attacks days earlier, maximizing the effectiveness of countermeasures and prophylaxis. For natural pandemics, SIGMA+ sensing methods could yield awareness of major outbreaks weeks sooner than currently is possible.

The program is structured around two Phases with two planned Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) solicitations. The first phase focuses on developing novel sensors for chemicals, explosives, and biological agents.

The Phase 1 sensors BAA is expected to be released on FedBizOpps in March. The second phase focuses on network development, analytics, and integration. The Phase 2 BAA is expected to be released in late 2018.

"If successful, SIGMA+ will demonstrate that automated, distributed networks of sensors, combined with automated intelligence analytics and insights from social science, can be deployed and practically scaled to significantly increase the probability of interdicting CBRNE WMD attacks," said Tang.

In addition to Program Manager Vincent Tang, the SIGMA+ management team includes the following DARPA researchers:

+ Mark Wrobel is SIGMA program manager in DSO. Launched in 2014, SIGMA has successfully demonstrated an operationally effective, continuous radiation-monitoring network of wearable, vehicle-mounted, and stationary radiation detection sensors that provide coverage across a large city or region. SIGMA capabilities are currently transitioning to operational use with various law enforcement and counterterror entities. SIGMA+ aims to achieve sensitivity enhancement over the current SIGMA system for interdicting radiological and nuclear threats.

+ Anne Fischer is a program manager in DSO. For SIGMA+, she is leading the chemical sensor network development and integration.

+ Matt Hepburn is a program manager in the Biological Technologies Office. His focus in SIGMA+ is biological-agent detection sensors and rapid-diagnostics technologies.

+ Carey Schwartz, a program manager in the Information Innovation Office, will focus on the information analytics element of SIGMA+.

+ Adam Russell, a DSO program manager, will lead the social and behavioral modeling aspects of SIGMA+.

A Proposers Day is scheduled for March 7, 2018 in Arlington, Virginia. Details and registration instructions are available here. A Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) solicitation for the first phase of the program is expected to be available in March on FedBizOpps here.

Image Caption: DARPA's SIGMA+ program seeks to develop highly sensitive detectors and advanced intelligence analytics to detect minute traces of materials used for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosive (CBRNE) weapons. The SIGMA+ CBRNE detection network would be scalable to cover a major metropolitan city and its surrounding region.

Related Links
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

A new radiation detector made from graphene
Washington DC (SPX) Feb 12, 2018
Graphene is a remarkable material: light, strong, transparent and electrically conductive. It can also convert heat to electricity. Researchers have recently exploited this thermoelectric property to create a new kind of radiation detector. Classified as a bolometer, the new device has a fast response time and, unlike most other bolometers, works over a wide range of temperatures. With a simple design and relatively low cost, this device could be scaled up, enabling a wide range of commercial appl ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Trump's Privatized ISS 'Not Impossible,' but Would Require 'Renegotiation'

Russian Resupply Ship Delivers Three Tons of Cargo

NASA's Continued Focus on Returning U.S. Human Spaceflight Launches

NASA Acting Administrator's Statement on FY 2019 Budget Proposal

140 successful tests and several "firsts" for Vinci, the engine for Ariane 6

Russia launches cargo spacecraft after aborted liftoff

Soyuz launch to resupply ISS aborted seconds before liftoff

What's next for SpaceX?

Leaky Atmosphere Linked To Lightweight Planet

Mars Opportunity Rover Energy Levels Improve

A Piece of Mars is Going Home

Danish architect envisions life on Mars

Long March rockets on ambitious mission in 2018

Chinese taikonauts maintain indomitable spirit in space exploration: senior officer

China launches first shared education satellite

China's first X-ray space telescope put into service after in-orbit tests

Iridium Certus broadband readies for DOD wsers with COMSAT

Airbus and human spaceflight: from Spacelab to Orion

Iridium Announces First Land-Mobile Service Providers for Iridium Certus

2018 in Space - Progress and Promise

A new way of generating ultra-short bursts of light

Tricking photons leads to first-of-its-kind laser breakthrough

Why bees soared and slime flopped as inspirations for systems engineering

Friction found where there should be none: In superfluids near absolute zero

Humans will actually react pretty well to news of alien life

Asteroid 'time capsules' may help explain how life started on Earth

Deep-sea fish use hydrothermal vents to incubate eggs

Kepler Scientists Discover Almost 100 New Exoplanets

New Horizons captures record-breaking images in the Kuiper Belt

Europa and Other Planetary Bodies May Have Extremely Low-Density Surfaces

JUICE ground control gets green light to start development

New Year 2019 offers new horizons at MU69 flyby

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.