DARPA Demos Radiation Detection Tools Network Under SIGMA Program; Vincent Tang Comments

DARPASIGMAThe Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has conducted a demonstration to test a network of more than 100 mobile tools designed to detect radioactive materials as part of the SIGMA program.

DARPA said Tuesday the pocket-sized detectors developed through the SIGMA program worked to detect the intensity and location of radiation sources during the one-month demonstration held at one of the transportation hubs of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

DARPA launched the SIGMA program in 2014 in order to build radiation detectors in support of efforts to counter nuclear terrorism.

“A key feature of the SIGMA architecture is that it allows for automated, real-time detection, identification, and tracking of nuclear threats with continuous situational awareness via web-based command and control interfaces,” said Vincent Tang, a program manager at DARPA’s defense sciences office.

Tang said DARPA also collaborated with the Department of Homeland Security’s domestic nuclear detection office and the U.K. Home Office to further develop the program.

DARPA said it plans to field more than 1,000 radiation detectors as part of a test demonstration to be held in Washington by late 2016, demonstrate the program’s wide-area monitoring functionality across cities and regions in 2017 and transition the detectors developed through the program for use by federal, state and local agencies in 2018.

Arktis Radiation Detectors, Kromek Group, Proportional Technologies, Silverside Detectors and SCI Technology developed the detectors that DARPA funded through the SIGMA program.

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, TRX Systems and the University of Maryland-National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism also offered additional support to the program.

Invincea Labs has collaborated with 3Pillar Global, Berkeley Applied Analytics and Eucleo to perform deployment and algorithm integration work on the initiative.

Companies and laboratories that perform system modeling and algorithm development efforts under the SIGMA program include Physical Sciences, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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