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Fundamental Research to Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Research and Development (J9) Directorate, Basic and Applied Sciences Department (BA), has issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for “Fundamental Research to Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction.”

The announcement solicits ideas for long-term challenges that offer a significant contribution to the current body of knowledge, to the understanding of phenomena and observable facts, to significantly advance revolutionary technology, to new concepts for technology application, or that may have impact on future CWMD threat reduction, expertise, or capabilities.

Thrust Area 1

Science of WMD Sensing and Recognition: Location, identification and characterization of radiological-nuclear (RN) materials; detection of RN materials at significant stand-off distances; reduction of the technical nuclear forensics timeline. Thrust Area 1 is currently not interested in research focusing on the sensing of explosives or the detection of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

Thrust Area 2

Network Sciences: Response, resilience, and recovery of multi-layered physical networks after exposure from electromagnetic pulse and other nuclear weapons effects; rapid discovery and analyzing low-observable WMD-related information from large, disparate WMD-related data sets from multiple types of networks; develop theories and representations for low observable WMD-related radical ideation from social networks.

Thrust Area 3

Science for Protection: Advanced materials for hardening infrastructure and facilities against blast, nuclear events, or other CBRNE effects; exploring new methods to experimentally and computationally simulate the effects of a nuclear event; investigations of the interaction of radiation with sensitive electronics and systems; development of novel materials and methods that are robust against radiation effects; novel methods to protect personnel from the physical, radiological, and nuclear effects of WMDs; study of biological systems, including intact structures, metabolic products, or discrete components and pathways to protect personnel during operations in areas potentially contaminated by radiation.

Thrust Area 4

Science to Defeat WMD: Improving energetic materials for use against WMD facilities and systems with minimal collateral effects from post-blast WMD release; deeper penetration to deny the adversary sanctuary of WMD; modeling of counter-WMD munitions and simulation of in-theater scenarios with accurate lethality calculations.

Thrust Area 5

Science to Secure WMDs: Science principles to assist tagging, tracking, location to secure WMD; novel means to mark and read objects in order to secure inventories; remote or unattended monitoring to understand the nature of objects; monitoring to detect intrusion, diversion or substitution, tampering, and other adverse activity; understanding of both physical and life science environmental signatures as witnesses of WMD-related activity.

Thrust Area 6

Cooperative Counter WMD Research with Global Partners: Support of the Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) and DoD Biosurveillance, Biosafety and Biosecurity (BS&S) capability building efforts; engage partner country scientists in hypothesis-driven research; promote One Health initiative; foster an international culture of responsible and ethical conduct in biological research.

Thrust Area 7

Fundamental Science for Chemical and Biological Defense: Development of improved detection devices for traditional and nontraditional chemical agents; development of diagnostics for existing and emerging infectious disease threats; increasing knowledge and improved capabilities for development of new or improved medical and material countermeasures to CB threats for both pre- and post-exposure scenarios; enhanced personal protection against, modeling of, prevention of, or decontamination of CB threats; and providing effective elimination strategies via non-kinetic approaches for threat agent destruction, neutralization and sequestration.

Further details are available via Solicitation Number: HDTRA1-14-24-FRCWMD-BAA. This BAA is in effect from March 2015 through September 2024.

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