Lance Cpl. Nicholas Taylor, a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Defense Specialist with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, trains at Camp Pendleton, Calif., on Sept. 14, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Adam Dublinske)

DARPA Contract Awarded to Develop Vehicle-Mounted Biothreat Detection

UK-based firm Kromek announced that it has been awarded its first contract for biological-threat detection by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The contract, which is worth $1.99 million over a 12-month period and commences immediately, is to develop a proof-of-concept device for a vehicle-mounted biological-threat identifier. This project expands the application of Kromek’s technology to include biological-threat detection and builds on the success of the Company’s work with DARPA in nuclear-threat detection using the D3S product family. Following the initial 12-month period, the agreement could potentially be extended to a multi-year contract for the development of a fully deployable system.

The project aims to develop a next-generation vehicle-mounted system capable of rapidly identifying the pathogens used in any biological attack, enabling a quicker response and reduced harm to people and the environment. The new system will reduce the detection and pathogen identification time significantly compared to current systems. The completed system aims to extend the existing SIGMA network for biological threats as part of DARPA’s new SIGMA+ initiative.

“As the SIGMA program has begun transitioning to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, DARPA is turning its focus to add the next generation of biological-threat detection systems,” said Dr. Arnab Basu, CEO of Kromek.  “We are delighted to be awarded this additional contract from DARPA, as it expands our relationship with them and broadens our expertise into biological threat detection, adding to our radiological and nuclear threat detection capabilities.”

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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