The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) Chemical and Biological Defense Testbed program through a partnership with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is constructing a testbed in the New York City (NYC) subway system to test and evaluate chemical and biological agent detection technologies and agent release mitigation strategies. Specific program objectives include:
- Create an enduring testbed in the NYC subway system to vet current and emerging chemical and biological agent sensing technologies and architectures
- Gather realistic performance, operations and maintenance and cost data in the subway environment
- Evaluate technologies and response strategies to mitigate the spread of contamination by aerosolized threats and assess overall effectiveness
- Enable realistic training exercises with local stakeholder agencies
DHS S&T is issuing this Request for Information (RFI) to identify technologies for integration into the testbed. The testbed will be managed and operated on behalf of DHS S&T by personnel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory (MIT-LL).
Viable chemical and biological agent detection and mitigation architectures are broadly defined herein and may include stand-alone systems or combinations of technology and procedures of the following categories:
- Trigger sensors (the detection of chemical or biological agent-like anomalies in the ambient environment)
- Collectors (samplers that collect aerosols or vapors for subsequent analysis)
- Identifier/confirmer sensors (technologies that identify the chemical or biological agents in a sample)
- Filtration (aerosol or vapor removal, e.g., HEPA or carbon filtration, spray curtains)
- Neutralization (aerosol or vapor denaturation, e.g., ultra-violet air sanitizers)
- Response actions (changes in operations, e.g., slow trains, skip stations, evacuate, etc.)
- Manifold sensing or sampling systems
Technologies under evaluation will be monitored under normal system operating conditions and challenged periodically with approved simulant materials where possible. All data will be stored long term and appropriate performance metrics will be derived for each technology. False alarm rate, probability of detection, time to detection, cost of ownership including maintenance and consumable requirements, and collection efficiency are representative examples of metrics to be determined.