Sensor Systems for Biological Agent Attacks: Protecting Buildings and Military Bases
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by Contract No. DTRA01-00-C-0083 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agency that sponsored the report.
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COMMITTEE ON MATERIALS AND MANUFACTURING PROCESSES FOR ADVANCED SENSORS
JOHN VITKO, JR.,
Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, California,
DAVID R. FRANZ,
Midwest Research Institute, Frederick, Maryland,
University of California, Berkeley
PETER D.E. BIGGINS,
Dstl Chemical and Biological Sciences, Salisbury, United Kingdom
LARRY D. BRANDT,
Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, California
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington
HARRIET A. BURGE,
Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
PerkinElmer Analytical Instruments, Shelton, Connecticut
MARK A. HOLLIS,
Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lexington
LEO L. LAUGHLIN,
Battelle, Arlington, Virginia
RAYMOND P. MARIELLA, JR.,
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California
ANDREW R. McFARLAND,
Texas A&M University, College Station
R. PAUL SCHAUDIES,
Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, Virginia
JULIUS CHANG, Staff Officer (until February 2002)
SHARON YEUNG DRESSEN, Staff Officer (until May 2002)
JUDITH ESTEP, Senior Project Assistant (until April 2002)
JAMES KILLIAN, Study Director
EMILY ANN MEYER, Research Associate (until April 2004)
BOARD ON MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING DESIGN
PAMELA A. DREW,
Boeing Phantom Works, Seattle, Washington,
CAROL L.J. ADKINS,
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
THOMAS W. EAGAR,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
ROBERT F. FONTANA, JR.,
Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, San Jose, California
PAUL B. GERMERAAD,
Aurigin Systems, Inc., Cupertino, California
RICHARD L. KEGG,
Milacron, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio
PRADEEP L. KHOSLA,
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Robert C. Byrd Center for Flexible Manufacturing, South Charleston, West Virginia
Universal Technology Corporation, Dayton, Ohio
National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, Ann Arbor, Michigan
ANGELO M. NINIVAGGI, JR.,
Plexus Corporation, Nampa, Idaho
JAMES B. O'DWYER,
PPG Industries, Allison Park, Pennsylvania
Dow Corning Corporation, Midland, Michigan
HERMAN M. REININGA,
Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Extrude Hone Corporation, Irwin, Pennsylvania
JAMES B. RICE, JR.,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
ALFONSO VELOSA III,
Gartner Inc., Portland, Oregon
JOHN F. WHITE,
Altarum, Ann Arbor, Michigan
JOEL SAMUEL YUDKEN,
AFL-CIO, Washington, D.C.
TONI MARECHAUX, Director
TERI THOROWGOOD, Research Associate
LAURA TOTH, Senior Project Assistant
The past decade has seen a growing concern about the potential for biological attacks on this nation's homeland and its military facilities. This concern was dramatically underscored by the events in the fall of 2001. The attack against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon made clear terrorists’ interest in mass casualties rather than smaller events to call attention to their cause. And the introduction of B. anthracis into the U.S. mail showed a willingness by some to use biological agents and also demonstrated their ability to develop or acquire relatively high-grade agent. When added to earlier studies that confirmed the potential of biological attacks for creating large-scale casualties, the events of the fall of 2001 added both a new sense of realism and urgency regarding such threats.
Fortunately, during the past decade the nation had also invested significantly in developing technology to detect and respond to such a biological attack. As a result of this investment, it is now possible to detect and identify biological agents in time (tens of minutes to hours) to pretreat potential victims before the onset of symptoms, thereby greatly reducing the consequences of most attacks. However, these time scales are still too long to enable the occupants of a facility to take some action to minimize their exposure—for example, by altering airflow in a facility, sheltering in place, or evacuating the facility.
Realizing the attractiveness of certain facilities as targets of biological attack and the desirability of minimizing the effects of any such attack not just by early treatment of exposed personnel but also by detection in time to minimize such exposures, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) chartered a study to examine the path to "detect to warn" sensors for facility protection. Specifically, DTRA asked that the study examine representative scenarios for facility protection, elucidate the driving sensor requirements, identify detection technologies and systems that have the potential for meeting those requirements, and chart a roadmap for attaining those capabilities.
To address these tasks the National Research Council formed a committee comprising experts in systems studies, sampling, detection technologies, microbiology, aerosol backgrounds, materials technologies, and instrument development and commercialization. The Committee on Materials and Manufacturing Processes for Advanced Sensors, in turn, called on experts at the Department of Defense (DoD), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Department of Energy (DOE), and in the university and industry sectors to understand the issues associated with detect-to-warn for facility protection and the status and prospects for a broad range of advanced detection and identification systems. The committee examined all the major families of detection systems from simple aerosol detectors, to those that identify an agent based on its genetic, structural, or chemical properties, to so-called "functional sensors," which detect the response of cells and organisms to the presence of an agent.
After approximately 1 year of briefings, study, evaluation, synthesis, and integration the committee arrived at a roadmap that it believes establishes an important but limited detect-to-warn capability in the near term and charts the path to a robust detect-to-warn capability in the next 5 to 7 years. This roadmap and the supporting analyses are given in the following report.
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council's (NRC's) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Leonidas Bachas, University of Kentucky,
John Brockman, Sandia National Laboratories,
C.W. Chu, Texas Center for Superconductivity,
Catherine Fenselau, University of Maryland,
Robert Hawley, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases,
Mohamed Sofi Ibrahim, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases,
John MacChesney, Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies,
Timothy Moshier, SPARTA, Inc.,
Gary Resnick, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and
Ashley Williamson, Southern Research Institute.
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Royce Murray of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
The committee greatly appreciates the support and assistance of National Research Council staff members James Killian, Emily Ann Meyer, Julius Chang, and Sharon Dressen, and of Greg Eyring, who consulted in many stages of this study, including in its writing.
John Vitko, Jr., Chair
Committee on Materials and Manufacturing Processes for Advanced Sensors