Systems Research

A fundamental need is a more thorough understanding of the operations, institutions, and other functions and characteristics of the transportation and logistics enterprises. Such an understanding is necessary to identify candidate security systems—for instance, to determine where the megaport-like “linch-pins” may lie for new security approaches. Such systems research and analysis will also provide an understanding of normal patterns of transportation activity and behavior, which is essential for developing security programs that filter out trusted passengers and shippers and for designing and deploying networks of sensors in ways that enhance their accuracy and reduce the incidence of missed and false alarms.

Moreover, an understanding of the operations and economics of transportation systems is crucial for finding ways to integrate security with other transportation system objectives. For example, shippers and other commercial users of


Data mining and other data-evaluation techniques to filter out lower-risk users

An understanding of the markers of risk associated with travelers

Explosives detection systems able to detect a wider range of materials

Means to network and combine sensors into “sensor fusion”

Standoff and accurate field sensors with low rates of false alarms

Biometrics and other means of verifying travelers and operators

Monitoring and Mitigation

Real-time chemical sensors that are effective in complex environments

Construction methods to harden transportation facilities

Dispersal models for various agents in transportation environments

Ways to use dispatch and control systems for consequence management

Means of protecting traffic-control systems from physical and cyberattacks

Response and Recovery

Neutralizing agents and robots that can test areas and perform decontamination

Communications capacity for emergency responders

Regional emergency-response plans that coordinate highways and public transportation

Investigation and Attribution

Integrating investigative capabilities into transportation operations and control systems

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