• Software Suite Will Bolster Defenses for Soft Targets

    Anyone who has ever gone to a major sporting event or concert, taken public transportation, even visited a farmer’s market on a brisk weekend morning, has likely benefitted from soft-target physical security—and perhaps didn’t even know it. DHS S&T is working developing a suite of decision-support software known as Special Event Planning Tools (SEPT) to help those in charge of securing soft targets.

  • Mobile Data Collected While Traveling Over Bridges Could Help Evaluate Their Integrity

    A new study suggests mobile data collected while traveling over bridges could help evaluate their integrity.

  • Texas’ Plan to Provide Water for a Growing Population Ignores Climate Change

    Texas’ biggest single solution to providing enough water for its soaring population in the coming decades is using more surface water, including about two dozen new large reservoirs. But climate change has made damming rivers a riskier bet.

  • Hydropower Delivers Electricity, Even During Lengthy Droughts

    The megadrought in the Southwestern United States is the driest—and longest—in the last 1,200 years, depleting water reservoir levels to critically low levels over the past 22 years. Droughts particularly impact hydroelectric power dams as well as some thermoelectric power plants that require large amounts of water for cooling. But a new report suggests that the relationship between drought and hydroelectric power is more nuanced than it might seem. Drought-strained hydropower sustains 80 percent average power generation capacity.

  • Monitoring Potentially Hazardous Near-Earth Asteroids

    An enormous number of near-Earth asteroids are posing a potential hazard to our planet. Faced with potential threats of to Earth by asteroid impact, researchers have been focusing on asteroid defense. Monitoring of and early warning about near-Earth asteroids is the premise of planetary defense.

  • DHS Unveils New Cybersecurity Performance Goals for Critical Infrastructure

    DHS released the Cybersecurity Performance Goals (CPGs), voluntary practices that outline the highest-priority baseline measures businesses and critical infrastructure owners of all sizes can take to protect themselves against cyber threats.

  • It Is Double Trouble When Two Disasters Strike the Electrical Transmission Infrastructure

    One natural disaster can knock out electric service to millions. A new study suggests that back-to-back disasters could cause catastrophic damage, but the research also identifies new ways to monitor and maintain power grids. The study, using AI, highlights the fragility of power grid networks.

  • The “Cassandra of the Subways” on Hurricane Sandy, Ten Years Later

    Starting in the 1990s, geophysicist Klaus Jacob started warning publicly that New York could eventually see a catastrophic storm abetted by climate change. From 2008 to 2019, he served on the New York City Panel on Climate Change, a scientific body that informs the city’s efforts to adapt infrastructure to changing climate. Most famously, he produced eearily precise projectionof where the subways would flood. 

  • Battery Tech Breakthrough Paves Way for Mass Adoption of Affordable Electric Car

    If new car sales are going to shift to battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs), they’ll need to overcome two major drawbacks: they are too slow to recharge and too large to be efficient and affordable. Researchers develop new technique that charges EV battery in just ten minutes.

  • Faster-Developing, Wetter Hurricanes to Come

    Climate change sets the stage for hurricanes to rapidly intensify faster, bringing wetter storms to the U.S. Atlantic Coast and other coastlines. A warmer world heightens the risk of flooding.

  • The Promise and Peril of Guyana’s Oil Boom

    Most people may not have even heard of Guyana, a tiny country on the northeast coast of South America, but the former British colony is in the midst of an oil boom of staggering proportions. The vast oil reserves discovered off the Guyana coast will soon make Guyana a major oil producer. The question is whether Guyana will escape what economists call the “Resource Curse” — the phenomenon which sees economies that are blessed with natural resources experience less favorable development outcomes than their resource-poor counterparts.

  • Improving Recovery of Critical Systems after Cyberattacks

    Researchers aim to develop fast, accurate and efficient recovery mechanisms that, when coupled with the expeditious damage assessment techniques he has already developed, will offer an “integrated suite solution.” This will allow affected CI systems to continue running while providing as many critical functionalities as possible.

  • Inconsistencies Found in Studies Evaluating Small Hydropower Projects

    Hydropower can move beyond enormous, Earth-altering infrastructure. Small hydropower projects have the potential to contribute more to a renewable energy future because they can be reliable, flexible and cost-effective. But researchers find inconsistencies in studies evaluating small hydropower projects.

  • Existing Water Infrastructure May Hold Key to Generating More Hydropower

    Millions of miles of pipelines and conduits across the United States make up an intricate network of waterways used for municipal, agricultural and industrial purposes. Researchers have found potential opportunities in all 50 states to efficiently utilize existing infrastructure to harvest this otherwise wasted energy.

  • Q&A with the Experts: Puerto Rico

    In 2018, as part of an effort to improve Puerto Rico’s resilience in the face of repeated, and devastating, natural disasters, RAND experts offered 270 specific courses of action needed across infrastructure, communities, and natural systems. Four years later, some of these experts reflect on the progress made – and not made – in shoring up the island’s resilience.