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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Strategies for Effective Improvements to the BioWatch System: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25014.
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Appendix A

Statement of Task

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will convene an ad hoc committee to organize and plan a public workshop that will explore alternative effective systems that would meet requirements for BioWatch as a biological detection system for aerosolized agents. Systems identified need to be capable of being deployed by the Department of Homeland Security by 2027, and enable dual use with day-to-day environmental surveillance that would be of value to the public health and medical community.

Specifically the ad hoc committee will develop the agenda for the workshop and identify and invite speakers and discussants to address the following questions:

  1. What new technologies (current and emerging within the next 10 years) are compatible with the existing architecture of the BioWatch detection system for aerosolized agents and would significantly improve current performance, particularly with respect to time, sensitivity, specificity, range of agents, indoor applications, autonomy, quality of confirmatory response, and/or cost?
    1. Are there specific considerations for indoor surveillance?
  2. What new technologies (current and emerging within the next 10 years)–that are ideally compatible with the existing BioWatch architecture–would enable detection of common public health threats (e.g., novel or known viruses, harmful volatile gases, etc.), as well as threat agents identified by intelligence assessments?
  3. Given the current state of technology for biological detection systems, how might technologies evolve and advance by 2027 so that one or more could serve as an alternative to the currently deployed polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based system?
    1. In addition are there other technologies that may be available to use to supplement or modify the current PCR system to enable greater flexibility of the detection system and provide a bridge to future detection solutions?
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Strategies for Effective Improvements to the BioWatch System: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25014.
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The committee may commission white papers to help inform discussions at the workshop related to the aforementioned questions. The papers will be made available to workshop participants at the event or in advance. An individually authored summary of the presentations and discussions at the workshop will be prepared by a designated rapporteur in accordance with institutional guidelines.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Strategies for Effective Improvements to the BioWatch System: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25014.
×
Page 89
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Strategies for Effective Improvements to the BioWatch System: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25014.
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BioWatch is the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) system for detecting an aerosolized biological attack using collectors that are positioned strategically across the country to continuously monitor the air for biological threats. As currently deployed, BioWatch collectors draw air through filters that field technicians collect daily and transport to laboratories, where professional technicians analyze the material collected on the filter for evidence of biological threats.

As part of the BioWatch program’s efforts to enhance its effectiveness and capabilities, particularly with regard to detecting biological threats in challenging indoor environments, DHS requested the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hold a workshop to explore alternative and effective biodetection systems for aerosolized biological agents that would meet BioWatch’s technical and operational requirements, integrate into the existing system architecture and public health infrastructure, and be deployable by 2027. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

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