Updates

DHS S&T Successfully Evaluates Wildfire Sensors With California Emergency Responders

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) successfully tested four prototype technologies for early detection of wildfires in California this week. The test was the second phase of S&T’s Wildland Urban Interface wildfire sensor technology program, which brings together government and private sector partners to identify technologies that meet first responders’ operational needs and ensure the nation’s critical infrastructure remains secure and resilient.

FDA Approves Drug to Treat Smallpox

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Tembexa (brincidofovir) to treat smallpox. Although naturally occurring smallpox no longer exists, concerns about potential uses of variola virus as a bioweapon has made smallpox drug development an important component of the U.S. medical countermeasures response.

HHS Launches First Venture Capital Partnership to Develop Transformative Technologies to Combat Future Pandemics, Other Health Emergencies

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today unveiled a new type of public-private partnership that enables investments using venture capital practices. Through the BARDA Ventures program, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, is launching a partnership with the nonprofit organization Global Health Investment Corporation (GHIC) to accelerate development and commercialization of technologies and medical products needed to respond to or prevent public health emergencies, such as pandemics, and other health security threats.

Hands-Free Comms Tech Breaks Through the Noise

First responders are often in critical response scenarios where a hands-free voice interface would improve both safety and efficiency, which could ultimately translate into saving lives. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) partnered with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory to develop Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) technology. The resulting innovation is known as the Direct Artificial Intelligence System Interface, or DAISI, which enables voice-activated capabilities in noisy operational environments.

Teledyne FLIR Introduces New identiFINDER R700 Backpack Radiation Detector

Teledyne FLIR announced the launch of the identiFINDER® R700 Backpack Radiation Detector, an advanced mobile system that offers capability for broad-area radiological monitoring missions. The company also announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has placed the first order for the device as part of its Helium-3 Alternative Implementation Backpack Program (HAIBP). Programmed out of the Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction office, the $6.5 million award spans nine months of product deliveries.

DHS Announces New Cybersecurity Requirements for Critical Pipeline Owners and Operators

The Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced a security directive that will require critical pipeline owners and operators to report confirmed and potential cybersecurity incidents to the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and to designate a cybersecurity coordinator, to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It will also require critical pipeline owners and operators to review their current practices as well as to identify any gaps and related remediation measures to address cyber-related risks and report the results to TSA and CISA within 30 days.

Enhanced Rescue Hoist Glove Available for Responders

An enhanced rescue hoist glove will soon be available for first responders. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) collaborated with Higher Dimension Materials Inc. (HDM) and North Carolina State University Textile Protect and Comfort Center to identify and develop the best materials with which to create a more durable and flexible glove for rescue hoist operations.

FEMA Announces Operational Guidance for Disaster Response and Recovery in Pandemic Environment

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released the “COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance: All-Hazards Incident Response and Recovery,” a document aimed at helping emergency managers plan for disaster response and recovery, while adhering to public health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

BioFlyte Launches First Field Deployable Airborne COVID-19 Detection System to Improve School and Workplace Safety

BioFlyte, a biodetection company with a new class of fieldable biological threat collection, detection, and identification solutions, announced the launch of the Sentinel™ Airborne COVID-19 Detection System for real-world surveillance of airborne coronavirus and other respiratory pathogens.

DHS Creates New Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships and Additional Efforts to Comprehensively Combat Domestic Violent Extremism

Building on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to combating all forms of terrorism and targeted violence, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has established a new Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3) to improve the department’s ability to combat terrorism and targeted violence, consistent with privacy protections, civil rights and civil liberties, and other applicable laws.