At the beginning of March, the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) released a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for “Exploratory Research in Nuclear Detection Technology.” Over the past month, the team that is leading the procurement have released a series of fact sheets, briefs, and powerpoints that clarify the DNDO’s intended strategy to an extent not previously discussed with such detail or clarity.
For example, this powerpoint deck (click read-only when opening) by DNDO Deputy Director Michael R. Carter expands upon his presentation last August at DHS S&T’s industry conference, and provides a top-level vision for the threats that a global nuclear detection architecture is designed to combat in slide 4:
The actual BAA provides a good companion overview of the challenges of nuclear detection today, explaining the rationale for the DNDO and singling out five key technology “areas for improvement” in the global nuclear detection architecture:
- Robust detection and verification of shielded special nuclear material at our nations ports of entry,
- Radiation monitoring along our unattended air, land, and sea borders,
- In-transit monitoring of cargo and conveyances,
- Mobile or re-locatable radiation detection and monitoring, and
- Unattended or ubiquitous radiation detection sensing systems.
Overall, an informative set of documents that help to clear up the strategy, mission, and objectives of one of the most important (but heretofore largely opaque) parts of DHS.