• Bringing Manufacturing Back to the U.S. Requires Political Will, but Success Hinges on Training American Workers

    The lack of manufacturing competitiveness in the U.S. leaves the U.S. vulnerable to shortages of critical goods during times of geopolitical disruption and global competition. The strategies the U.S. employs in bringing back manufacturing, along with innovative practices, will be key to ensure national security.

  • Metal-Free Batteries Raise Hope for More Sustainable and Economical Grids

    Rechargeable batteries that use ammonium cations as charge carriers could provide ecofriendly and sustainable substitutes to metal-ion-based batteries. Metal-ion batteries dominate the market, but they depend on limited and declining resources, which threatens long-term availability.

  • Growing Interest in, Planning for, Managed Retreat from High-Risk Areas

    Strategically moving communities away from environmentally high-risk areas, such as vulnerable coasts, has been referred to as “managed retreat.” Of all the ways humans respond to climate-related disasters, managed retreat has been one of the most controversial due to the difficulty inherent in identifying how, when, where, and by whom such movement should take place.

  • Achieving Foundational Security for Food Systems

    U.S. cereal crops such as corn, rice, and wheat feed hundreds of millions of Americans and millions more around the world. Ensuring active defense of these and other staple food grasses is a critical national security priority. New DARPA project seeks advanced threat-detection and warning capabilities for crop defense.

  • Towers in the Storm

    The problem with the U.S. electrical grid is that many transmission towers have exceeded their design life by about 50 years, which means the aging grid today faces bigger chances of failure. One threat to the grid is from damaging winds of extreme storms such as hurricanes.

  • Concerns About Extremists Targeting U.S. Power Stations

    Attacks on four power stations in Washington State over the weekend added to concerns of a possible nationwide campaign by far-right extremists to stir fears and spark civil conflict. Violent extremists “have developed credible, specific plans to attack electricity infrastructure since at least 2020, identifying the electric grid as a particularly attractive target given its interdependency with other infrastructure sectors,” the DHS said in a January.

  • Addressing the Needs of Underprepared Communities

    Many regions in the U.S. do not have regular earthquakes. Still, they have faults that can create large earthquakes, and communities in these regions are not prepared to experience a large quake with the capacity to cause significant damage. A new center will specifically address areas of low probability of occurrence but high impact earthquake risk and seek to meet the needs of all communities for natural hazard mitigation.

  • Testing Environments Help Secure Transportation Infrastructure

    “All critical infrastructure sectors—including the energy, manufacturing, and transportation sectors—rely heavily on sophisticated technologies like industrial control systems, cellular networks, and artificial intelligence,” said DHS S&T’s Alex Karr. “These are all accessed, monitored, and controlled via the internet, which, in turn, makes them susceptible to hacking, malware attacks, and other malicious activities.”

  • Majority of California's Coastal Airports Are Vulnerable to Increased Flooding Caused by Climate Change

    Most of California’s population and its largest airports are located along the Pacific coastline, which is increasingly impacted by storm surges, sea level rise, and erosion due to climate change. In the next 30 years, sea level along the coast is expected to rise as much as 8 inches.

  • S&T Makes Headway on Infrastructure Investment

    Critical infrastructure is the backbone of life as we know it here in the U.S.—there are, of course, the roads and highways we travel, but also the electric grids that power our lives and livelihoods, the public transit systems that facilitate connection, the cyber networks that enable commerce and communication, and much, much more.

  • Landslide Risk Remains Long After an Earthquake

    Satellite observations have revealed that weak seismic ground shaking can trigger powerful landslide acceleration – even several years after a significant earthquake.

  • Global Warming Doubled the Risk for Copenhagen’s historic 2011 Cloudburst

    On 2 July 2011, the Danish capital Copenhagen suffered a cloudburst of historic proportions, causing damage and destruction costing billions of kroner. Researchers have used detailed weather models to clearly tie increased temperatures to that historic cloudburst.

  • Gone with the Wind? Huskers Investigate Mystery of Last Standing Grain Bin

    More than 750,000 steel silos and bins are estimated to pepper rural America, often standing empty before filling up on the annual harvest. Most cannot withstanding winds of 100-plus miles per hour – but some can.

  • Smart Inverters’ Vulnerability to Cyberattacks Needs to Be Identified and Countered

    A survey of threats to microgrids from small power sources can help security experts develop solutions.

  • Probable Maximum Flood Events Will Significantly Increase Over Next Decades

    The flood capacity of dams could be at greater risk of being exceeded due to out-of-date modelling for potential maximum rainfall. A new study concludes that the rainfall model that engineers use to help design critical infrastructure such as large dams and nuclear power plants need to be updated to account for climate change.