National Academies Press: OpenBook
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 1999. Improving Surface Transportation Security: A Research and Development Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9689.
×

Improving Surface Transportation Security

A Research and Development Strategy

Committee on R&D Strategies to Improve Surface Transportation Security

National Materials Advisory Board

Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems

Computer Science and Telecommunications Board

Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications

Transportation Research Board

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 1999. Improving Surface Transportation Security: A Research and Development Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9689.
×

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418

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 panel responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

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The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

This project was supported by the Department of Transportation under Contract No. DTRS56-98-C-0001. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily express the views of the sponsor.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 1999. Improving Surface Transportation Security: A Research and Development Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9689.
×

COMMITTEE ON R&D STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE SURFACE TRANSPORTATION SECURITY

H. NORMAN ABRAMSON, chair,

Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas

DONALD E. BROWN,

University of Virginia, Charlottesville

NICK CARTWRIGHT,

Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

A. RAY CHAMBERLAIN,

Parsons Brinckerhoff, Denver, Colorado

H. ANDY FRANKLIN,

Bechtel Technology, Inc., San Francisco, California

ROBERT E. GREEN, JR.,

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

BRUCE HADDAN,

Norfolk Southern Corporation, Atlanta, Georgia

WILLIAM J. HARRIS, consultant,

Arlington, Virginia

MICHAEL L. HONIG,

Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

JIRI (ART) JANATA,

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta

STEVEN B. LIPNER,

Mitretek Systems, McLean, Virginia

MICHAEL D. MEYER,

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta

FRED V. MORRONE,

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Jersey City, New Jersey

JULIA WEERTMAN,

Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

National Research Council Staff

DANIEL MORGAN, study director, senior program officer,

National Materials Advisory Board

STEPHEN GODWIN, director,

Studies and Information Services,

Transportation Research Board

JANE GRIFFITH, interim director,

Computer Science and Telecommunications Board

HERB LIN, senior scientist,

Computer Science and Telecommunications Board

JANICE PRISCO, senior project assistant,

National Materials Advisory Board

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 1999. Improving Surface Transportation Security: A Research and Development Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9689.
×

NATIONAL MATERIALS ADVISORY BOARD

EDGAR A. STARKE, JR., chair,

University of Virginia, Charlottesville

JESSE L. (JACK) BEAUCHAMP,

California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

EARL H. DOWELL,

Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

EDWARD C. DOWLING,

Cleveland Cliffs, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio

THOMAS W. EAGAR,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

ALASTAIR M. GLASS,

Lucent Technologies, Murray Hill, New Jersey

MARTIN E. GLICKSMAN,

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York

JOHN A.S. GREEN,

The Aluminum Association, Washington, D.C.

SIEGFRIED S. HECKER,

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico

JOHN H. HOPPS, JR.,

Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia

MICHAEL JAFFE,

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick

SYLVIA M. JOHNSON,

SRI International, Menlo Park, California

SHEILA F. KIA,

General Motors Research and Development Center, Warren, Missouri

LISA KLEIN,

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick

HARRY A. LIPSITT,

Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio

ALAN G. MILLER,

Boeing Commercial Airplane Group, Seattle, Washington

ROBERT C. PFAHL, JR.,

Motorola, Schaumburg, Illinois

JULIA M. PHILLIPS,

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico

KENNETH L. REIFSNIDER,

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg

JAMES W. WAGNER,

Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

JULIA R. WEERTMAN,

Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

BILL G.W. YEE,

Pratt & Whitney, West Palm Beach, Florida

RICHARD CHAIT, director

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 1999. Improving Surface Transportation Security: A Research and Development Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9689.
×

COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD

DAVID D. CLARK, chair,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

FRANCES E. ALLEN,

IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York

JAMES CHIDDIX,

Time Warner Cable, Stamford, Connecticut

JOHN M. CIOFFI,

Stanford University, Stanford, California

W. BRUCE CROFT,

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

A.G. FRASER,

AT&T Labs Research, Florham Park, New Jersey

SUSAN L. GRAHAM,

University of California, Berkeley

JAMES N. GRAY,

Microsoft Corporation, San Francisco, California

PATRICK M. HANRAHAN,

Stanford University, Stanford, California

JUDITH HEMPEL,

University of California, San Francisco

BUTLER W. LAMPSON,

Microsoft Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts

EDWARD D. LAZOWSKA,

University of Washington, Seattle

DAVID LIDDLE,

Interval Research Corporation, Palo Alto, California

JOHN E. MAJOR,

Wireless Knowledge, San Diego, California

TOM M. MITCHELL,

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

DONALD NORMAN,

Hewlett-Packard, Atherton, California

RAYMOND OZZIE,

Groove Networks, Beverly, Massachusetts

DAVID A. PATTERSON,

University of California, Berkeley

LEE S. SPROULL,

Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

LESLIE L. VADASZ,

Intel Corporation, Santa Clara, California

MARJORY S. BLUMENTHAL, director

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 1999. Improving Surface Transportation Security: A Research and Development Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9689.
×

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

WAYNE SHACKELFORD, chair,

Georgia Department of Transportation, Atlanta

MARTIN WACHS, vice chair,

University of California, Berkeley

SHARON D. BANKS,

AC Transit, Oakland, California

THOMAS F. BARRY, JR.,

Florida Department of Transportation, Tallahassee

BRIAN J.L. BERRY,

University of Texas at Dallas

SARAH C. CAMPBELL,

TransManagement, Inc., Washington, D.C.

ANNE P. CANBY,

Delaware Department of Transportation, Dover

E. DEAN CARLSON,

Kansas Department of Transportation, Topeka

JOANNE F. CASEY,

Intermodal Association of North America, Greenbelt, Maryland

JOHN W. FISHER,

Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

GORMAN GILBERT,

North Carolina State University, Raleigh

DELON HAMPTON,

Delon Hampton & Associates, Washington, D.C.

LESTER A. HOEL,

University of Virginia, Charlottesville

JAMES L. LAMMIE,

Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc., New York, New York

THOMAS F. LARWIN,

San Diego Metropolitan Transit Development Board, San Diego, California

BRADLEY L. MALLORY,

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Harrisburg

JEFFREY J. MCCAIG,

Trimac Corporation, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

JOSEPH A. MICKES,

Missouri Department of Transportation, Jefferson City

MARSHALL W. MOORE,

North Dakota Department of Transportation, Bismarck

JEFFREY R. MORELAND,

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation, Fort Worth, Texas

SID MORRISON,

Washington State Department of Transportation, Olympia

JOHN P. POORMAN,

Capital District Transportation Committee, Albany, New York

ANDREA RINIKER,

Port of Tacoma, Tacoma, Washington

JOHN M. SAMUELS,

Norfolk Southern Corporation, Norfolk, Virginia

JAMES A. WILDING,

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Alexandria, Virginia

CURTIS A. WILEY,

Indiana Department of Transportation, Indianapolis

DAVID N. WORMLEY,

Pennsylvania State University, University Park

ROBERT E. SKINNER, JR., executive director

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 1999. Improving Surface Transportation Security: A Research and Development Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9689.
×

Preface

In May 1998, in response to a congressional mandate (House Report 104-863, p. 1189) and with funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the National Research Council formed the Committee on R&D Strategies to Improve Surface Transportation Security. The committee's purpose was to examine the vulnerabilities of the surface transportation system, identify ways to improve the system's security, and recommend a strategy for research and development (R&D). The committee consisted of 14 members with diverse expertise in science, technology, and policy.

The committee was given the following task:

The study will review the results of the DOT vulnerability assessment to help define areas that could be made less vulnerable with new technologies and processes and which of these technologies and processes are likely to be effective, affordable, and acceptable to the users. This study will identify technologies and processes that hold promise for defending against, mitigating the consequences of, or assisting in the investigation of attacks on the physical surface transportation infrastructure or on the surface transportation information systems and network, including

  • technologies and processes in use for other security efforts that may be applied to surface transportation modes with or without modifications
  • technology areas and processes where a development effort or research support may lead to promising surface transportation security technologies

The study will recommend a research and development agenda for the

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 1999. Improving Surface Transportation Security: A Research and Development Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9689.
×

DOT, including a broad research and development strategy and technology transfer process.

Areas to be addressed include technologies and processes that are specific to an individual transportation mode, as well as those that are crossmodal and intermodal. The study will also consider how these technologies and processes may be effectively transferred to the user communities.

The committee interpreted the word "attacks" primarily to mean attacks by terrorists (or by others using similar methods, such as foreign agents, violent protesters, or disgruntled insiders) rather than conventional criminal activities, such as robberies. Many response strategies might be helpful in both situations, however. In addition, the committee interpreted "attacks on the physical infrastructure" to include human casualties caused by explosions or chemical or biological releases, as well as physical damage, but not to include hijacking or hostage-taking incidents directed primarily at individuals rather than infrastructure. Here too, however, many of the same strategic approaches might be useful in both cases.

Any R&D agenda is based on a set of goals, values, and priorities. During the course of the study, the committee concluded that the first step in establishing an R&D strategy for surface transportation security should be to make that basis explicit. The range of possible security technologies and processes is so broad, the variety of threats so diverse, and the overall security problem so complex that proceeding to the selection of R&D topics without an explicit strategy would give no assurance of an appropriate result.

The committee has not lost sight of the ultimate need to identify specific R&D projects that might improve the security of the surface transportation system. It firmly believes, however, that DOT should put in place a strategy of the type recommended in this report before proceeding to that step. The process of implementing the strategy—such as further evaluating systemic vulnerabilities, establishing a framework for setting priorities, and ensuring the involvement of transportation owners and operators—will elicit essential feedback both from within DOT and from the broader surface transportation community.

This report therefore focuses on the first step, developing a strategic vision of an R&D program for the long term, and recommends a process for achieving that vision. The goal is to present a strategy rather than a shopping list of projects. Several specific R&D topics are discussed, but the report cannot and does not seek to be complete at that level.

The committee met four times between May and November 1998. Meetings included open sessions for gathering information from outside experts, as well as closed deliberative sessions for discussions among the committee members. The third meeting, in August 1998, included a day of site visits to transportation facilities. In addition, selected committee members and staff participated in several outside conferences and workshops during the course of the study to

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 1999. Improving Surface Transportation Security: A Research and Development Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9689.
×

gather information and ideas from the broader transportation and security communities.

Two brief interim letter reports were issued during the course of the study to update DOT on the committee's progress. The present report, the final product of the study, supersedes the two letter reports and presents the committee's complete findings and recommendations.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 1999. Improving Surface Transportation Security: A Research and Development Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9689.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 1999. Improving Surface Transportation Security: A Research and Development Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9689.
×

Acknowledgments

The committee wishes to express its appreciation to the many individuals who provided valuable assistance during the course of the study. The following speakers gave presentations during the first, second, and fourth committee meetings on security and R&D issues in their particular areas of expertise: James Biostad, Kelley Coyner, John Daly, Mortimer Downey, Thomas Falvey, Jeffrey Shumaker, and Daniel Sullivan, U.S. Department of Transportation; Richard Clarke, National Security Council; John Davis, Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office; Basil Doyle, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Beverly Huey and Richard Little, National Research Council; Kerri-Ann Jones and Steven Rinaldi, Office of Science and Technology Policy; Michael O'Connell and Page Stoutland, U.S. Department of Energy; and Julie Wigton, Counterterrorism Center.

For arranging and hosting the committee's site visits during its third meeting, the committee thanks Beth Brown, Michael Franke, Michael Henry, Ron Hughes, and Hal Whiteman of Transport Canada. Thanks also to those who showed the committee around at the sites: Greg Poitras, Terminal Systems, Inc.; Steve Lefler and Sheena Nelson, BC Ferry Corporation; Fred L. McCague, North West Cruise Ship Association; and K.L. (Kelly) Thomas, VIA Rail Canada.

This study was a joint project of the National Materials Advisory Board of the Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems (CETS), the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications (CPSMA), and the Transportation Research Board (TRB). Joint oversight was provided by a ''virtual commission" consisting of James C. Williams, GE Aircraft Engines, and Barry M. Trost, Stanford University, representing CETS; John Kreick, Sanders, a Lockheed Martin Company,

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 1999. Improving Surface Transportation Security: A Research and Development Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9689.
×

and John E. Estes, University of California, Santa Barbara, representing CPSMA; and Lester A. Hoel, University of Virginia, and John M. Samuels, Norfolk Southern Corporation, representing TRB.

This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council's Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the National Research Council in making their 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 draft manuscript and the content of the review comments remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. The committee wishes to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Arden Bement, Purdue University; Trent DePersia, National Institute of Justice; Patrick Griffin, Sandia National Laboratories; Thomas Lambert, Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority; Thomas Larson, consultant; James van Loben Sels, Parsons Brinckerhoff; Fred Schneider, Cornell University; and Joseph Vervier, ENSCO, Inc. While the individuals listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, responsibility for the final content of this report rests solely with the authoring committee and the National Research Council.

Finally, the committee gratefully acknowledges the support of the staff of the National Research Council: Daniel Morgan, Stephen Godwin, Jane Griffith, Herb Lin, and Janice Prisco.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 1999. Improving Surface Transportation Security: A Research and Development Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9689.
×
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 1999. Improving Surface Transportation Security: A Research and Development Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9689.
×

Boxes, Figures, and Tables

BOXES

1-1

 

Some Incidents Involving Surface Transportation in the United States

 

4

1-2

 

The Satin Gas Attack on the Tokyo Subway in 1995

 

6

1-3

 

DOT Agencies with R&D Activities

 

9

2-1

 

Nonvirus Cyber Attacks on Surface Transportation

 

17

2-2

 

Differences between Chemical and Biological Attacks

 

19

2-3

 

The Impact of Earthquakes on Surface Transportation

 

24

2-4

 

Implications for Surface Transportation of Trends in Communications

 

26

3-1

 

A Matrix for Categorizing R&D Topics in Surface Transportation Security

 

30

3-2

 

Operators' Perceptions of Threats

 

41

4-1

 

R&D Opportunities in Construction Design

 

52

FIGURES

4-1

 

Platform-edge doors in the London subway

 

49

B-1

 

Flow chart of probable actions in a chemical agent incident

 

72

B-2

 

Flow chart of probable actions in a biological agent incident

 

73

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 1999. Improving Surface Transportation Security: A Research and Development Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9689.
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TABLES

2-1

 

Scenarios Considered in the DOT Vulnerability Assessment

 

15

4-1

 

Illustration of the Matrix Categorization of R&D Topics

 

44

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." Transportation Research Board and National Research Council. 1999. Improving Surface Transportation Security: A Research and Development Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9689.
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The surface transportation system is vital to our nation's economy, defense, and quality of life. Because threats against the system have hitherto been perceived as minor, little attention has been paid to its security. But the world is changing, as highlighted by dramatic incidents such as the terrorist chemical attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995. As a consequence, security concerns are now attracting more attention--appropriately so, for the threat is real, and responding to it is hard. Although the surface transportation system is remarkably resilient, it is also open and decentralized, making a security response challenging. Research and development can contribute to that response in important ways.

Some important themes emerge from analysis of this strategy. First, a dual-use approach, in which security objectives are furthered at the same time as other transportation goals, can encourage the implementation of security technologies and processes. Second, modeling could be used more to develop a better understanding of the scope of the security problem. Third, DOT can play an important role in developing and disseminating information about best practices that use existing technologies and processes, including low-technology alternatives. Finally, security should be considered as part of a broader picture, not a wholly new and different problem but one that is similar and closely connected to the transportation community's previous experience in responding to accidents, natural disasters, and hazardous materials.

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