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DHS and Big Data

Big data abounds in our everyday lives. “Home entertainment is data extensive. Medical imaging, the movie industry, gaming, live broadcast television, even weather data is all labor intensive and difficult to send to millions of users,” commented Gina Lundy, vice president, government relations and corporate communications, Pixia Corp.

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Managing Marine Rust

Rust may not pose the same fatal dangers to ships that it does to aircraft, but it’s still a costly problem on Coast Guard vessels. Preventing and dealing with rust at sea is getting more careful attention. Tight budgets force tough choices, in rust control as in other areas. But rust specialists are learning and teaching others how to reap maximum benefits at moderate costs.

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First Responder Gear

Whether dealing with explosives, a chemical-biological event or other hazardous situation, having the right equipment can make all the difference for first responders. Industry has responded by providing gear to deal with a wide variety of circumstances. The Personal Safety Division of the St. Paul, Minn.-based manufacturing giant 3M Company makes two kinds of emergency response respirators: a powered-air purifying respirator (PAPR) called Breathe Easy and a negative-pressure model, the FR-7800B, according to Don Garvey, CIH, CSP, a technical service specialist with the company. Both of these respirator systems have National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) CBRN certification.

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Unmanned Eyes

It seems a natural fit: Intense concerns about U.S. border security came along just as the country developed an extraordinary range of unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) for fighting terror in foreign wars. Why not adapt at least some of these new tools for duty on or near our borders? This approach has been implemented to a substantial but still limited degree. Hurdles have been encountered in tight budgets, choosing the right equipment, domestic privacy concerns and the need for clear regulations for small UASs. Nevertheless, the Department of Homeland Security remains interested in adding sensors to its big unmanned birds and the Border Patrol is considering smaller UASs for more local duties.

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Detecting the CBRN Threat

In 2011, United States Customs and Border Protection seized over $25 million in counterfeit pharmaceuticals. The bureau was aided by field-deployed chemical identification tools that are able to deliver precise information to agency personnel. The same kind of identification equipment provides information on a range of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats to military, law enforcement, customs, border protection, hazmat teams, bomb squads and other first responders around the country and around the world.

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Forging the CBRN Alliance

When asked to write an article in regards to where industry is headed in the CBRN arena, I reached back to my experiences as I traveled the country attending seminars, exhibitions and training events over the last four years, as the director of military programs and business development for Immediate Response Technologies (IRT). I have combined those experiences with my direct contact with all our DoD military branches and the National Guard, as well as with organizations like DTRA, DARPA, BARDA, DHS, HHS, ECBC, JPM-P, the FBI, the Border Patrol, civilian law enforcement, first responders/hospital personnel and foreign markets. I also am including material from the Strategic Defense Intelligence report on CBRN Defense Market in the United States, 2013-2023.

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Up in the Air

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is receiving and deciding how to use some formidable Defense Department aerostat assets under two programs. The first is reutilization of tactical aerostats returning from theater. The second is CBP’s takeover of the Tethered Aerostats Radar System (TARS), a strategic border-security system long run by the Defense Department.

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