New Brunswick, N.J. The National Science Foundation (NSF), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has awarded Rutgers University two grants to lead research on detecting smuggled nuclear materials. The work aims to thwart terrorists from using such materials to develop dirty bombs or environmental contaminants that could sicken large segments of the population and paralyze commerce.
The NSF has committed $631,509 to support the first years research on two projects, with $2.3 million in total funding anticipated over four years. The work will define mathematical principles for how to lay out sensor networks and accurately interpret the vast amounts of data they will capture.
While many vehicles already are being scanned for radiation at major ports, border crossings and urban bridges and tunnels, a detection system based on data from different types of sensors in widespread networks could boost security without hindering the flow of people and goods. Intelligent deployment and coordination of such systems could substantially reduce the costs of protecting persons and property.
Coordinating the research is the Rutgers Center for Dynamic Data Analysis (DyDAn), in collaboration with the School of Information and Library Studies (SCILS) and the Rutgers Center for Operations Research (RUTCOR). DyDAn is a DHS center of excellence, established last year to develop computing technologies that find patterns and relationships in massive amounts of public data. The grants are being funded by the DHS Domestic Nuclear Detection Office.
The goal is to immediately recognize and alert authorities to true threats, while weeding out false alarms, said Fred Roberts, director of DyDAn and its host institute, the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS), based at Rutgers.
The first of the two projects, on sensor management for nuclear detection, will involve faculty from m
|Contact: Carl Blesch|
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey