Updates

TSA and LA MTA Partner on a Demonstration Project of a New Device to Detect Suicide Vests

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is partnering with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LAMTA) on a new device that can help officials detect whether an individual is concealing an improvised explosive device. The use of such a device enables a transit agency to help safeguard against terrorist threats in the mass transit environment.

Gene-Based Zika Vaccine Is Safe and Immunogenic in Healthy Adults

Results from two Phase 1 clinical trials show an experimental Zika vaccine developed by government scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is safe and induces an immune response in healthy adults.

FLIR Systems Introduces FB-Series ID Thermal Fixed Bullet Camera With Built-In Human and Vehicle Recognition Analytics

FLIR Systems Inc. introduced the FB-Series ID, the latest fixed bullet thermal security camera in the FB-Series family. Combining best-in-class thermal image detail and high-performance onboard analytics, the FB-Series ID is ideal for narrow to wide area perimeter detection and sterile-zone monitoring. The FB-Series ID features accurate video analytics that are capable of classifying human or vehicular intrusions.

Secretary Nielsen Announces the Establishment of the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen announced the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Office. The CWMD Office will elevate and streamline DHS efforts to prevent terrorists and other national security threat actors from using harmful agents, such as chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear material and devices to harm Americans and U.S. interests.

Attorney General Sessions and Acting DEA Administrator Patterson Announce New Tools to Address Opioid Crisis

Attorney General Sessions announced new resources and stepped up efforts to address the drug and opioid crisis. These efforts include over $12 million in grant funding to assist law enforcement in combating illegal manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine, heroin, and prescription opioids; the establishment of a new DEA Field Division in Louisville, Kentucky; and a directive to all U.S. attorneys to designate an opioid coordinator.   

Nature’s Silent Sentinels Could Help Detect Security Threats

DARPA’s new Advanced Plant Technologies (APT) program looks to seemingly simple plants as the next generation of intelligence gatherers. DARPA’s vision for APT is to harness plants’ natural mechanisms for sensing and responding to environmental stimuli and extend them to detect the presence of certain chemicals, pathogens, radiation, and electromagnetic signals.

USDA Helps Rural Communities Restore Water Systems Damaged by Disasters

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding the National Rural Water Association and the Rural Community Assistance Partnership each a $500,000 grant. The grants will be used to provide training and technical assistance, onsite repairs, and utility management advice for rural water and sewer utilities impacted by disasters.

Federal Resources Offers More Than an Expo at 5th Annual ExperienceFR Event

Federal Resources is hosting its 5th annual ExperienceFR event on 6 December 2017 in Washington, D.C. ExperienceFR is an exhibition of products and solutions for military personnel, first responders, and law enforcement professionals. The event features training, demonstrations, book signings, and a prominent guest speaker.

Restoring Hope, Wi-Fi in Storm-Ravaged Puerto Rico

The Avwatch team, a nationally recognized leader in disaster response and mobile tactical networks, was on a humanitarian mission to establish Mobile Ad hoc Networks (MANET) in areas where critical communications had gone dark since 20 September 2017, when Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico.

ASTM International Group Advances Array of Drones Standards

ASTM International’s committee on unmanned aircraft systems (F38) recently held a successful meeting that included significant progress in standards development and live demonstrations. The committee is launching work on six new standards related to: detect-and-avoid technologies (acoustic-based and non-acoustic-based), fuel cell design, business operations manuals, maintenance technician qualification-and-certification, and beyond visual line-of-sight package delivery.