• Maryland leaders worry about shift in DHS priorities after elections

    Because of its proximity to the nation’s capital, the Baltimore metro area and Washington suburbs are particularly vulnerable to terrorist activity, Maryland leaders say; they want attention to security increased, not decreased

  • World's first thermal glider takes off

    The world’s first thermally powered robotic vehicle takes off; the new glider draws its energy for propulsion from the differences in temperature — thermal stratification — between warm surface waters and colder, deeper layers of the ocean

  • Northrop Grumman, L-3 awarded EPX contract

    EPX aims to create a shore-based, manned aircraft which will provide intelligence, surveillance, and targeting (ISRT) support to carrier strike groups

  • CBP hails C-TPAT 2007 achievements

    DHS’s Custom and Border Protection agency says that Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program made major contributions to U.S. security in 2007 by keeping a close eye on the supply chain bringing goods into the U.S.

  • DHS to spend $400 million to bolster U.S. ports security

    DHS offers 14 different grant programs to help bolster security at U.S. ports; port security grant funding has increased in 2008 budget by $76 million, now totaling almost $390 million

  • Israel begins radiation detection at Haifa Port

    More ports join the U.S.-led effort to check for radiological materials; the idea is to have U.S.-bound cargo containers scanned for radiation before they arrive in U.S. ports; the latest port to be added to the list is Haifa, Israel

  • As TWIC is implemented in more ports, hurdles emerge

    Port managers worry that there are still some unresolved issues with TWIC, the port employee credentialing system; one example: Will the card typically be used as a flash pass or will the readers need to be used? If readers have to be used, just think of this: A truck has long mirrors on the outside of the cab, preventing the driver from getting close enough to a reader to submit a fingerprint; moreover, truckers often have dirty hands, which may make it difficult to read the fingerprints; there are other issues

  • GAO: Uneven progress on Container Security Initiative, but

    GAO says that Customs and Border Protection made important steps forward toward the effective implementation and operation of CSI, DHS’s major container security initiatives — for example, CSI is now operating in 58 foreign seaports, thus having 86 percent of all U.S.-bound cargo containers pass through CSI seaports – but much remains to be done

  • GAO: More federal efforts needed to thwart threats to oil tankers

    GAO publishes a detailed report on terrorist threats to tankers carrying crude oil, liquefied gases, and refined products to the U.S.; these threats pose a major challenge, since the U.S. imports 55 percent of the nation’s crude oil supply

  • General Dynamics wins $100 million passport card contract

    The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) will allow U.S. residents to travel by land and sea to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda using a passport card rather than a traditional passport (travel by air, and travel to other countries, would still require a passport); General Dynamics wins contract to produce the cards

  • Thales to develop autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV)

    Thales, in collaboration with seven partners, will develop a fully autonomous underwater vehicle dedicated to maritime surveillance and security; specifications call for high levels of energy and decision-making autonomy

  • Coast Guard demands $96.1 million Deepwater refund

    The Deepwater program, aiming to replace aging vessels, is the Coast Guard’s largest acquisition program; Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin were awarded to contract, but the agency now charge the two companies with delivering defective boats that do not meet requirements; it wants some of of its money back

  • Breakthrough: Acoustic cloak theoretically possible

    Invisibility cloak — deflecting microwaves around a cloaked object and restoring them on the other side, as if they had passed through empty space — has already been demonstrated; Duke researcher now shows that an acoustic cloak is theoretically feasible: Sound waves would travel seamlessly around the cloaked object and emerge on the other side without distortion; submarines could be hidden from sonar

  • U.S. grounds 39 Lockheed P-3C surveillance planes

    The U.S. Navy says that structural fatigue has caused the grounding of 39 out of the Navy’s 161 P-3C Orion surveillance planes; Orions used heavily in post-9/11 operations, including in Iraq and Afghanistan

  • A better path to container scanning

    Analyst: The congressionally mandated 100 percent container screening is unworkable; it arouses opposition from U.S. trading partners and industry; a better solution would be the adoption of in-container sensing systems