Department Of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security is a federal agency whose primary mission is to help prevent, protect against, and respond to acts of terrorism on U.S. soil. The Department of Homeland Security has the capability to anticipate, preempt, and deter threats to the homeland whenever possible, and the ability to respond quickly when such threats do materialize.

As the United States focuses on protecting and defending against terrorism, scientists are conducting research in antiterrorist technology. One of the programs is to develop new kinds of nanoscale sensors to detect explosives and hazardous chemicals at the nanometer level. Most experts agree that sensors are critical to all of the homeland security strategies.

Nanoscale sensors, with their small, lightweight size will improve the capability to detect chemical, biological, radiological, and explosive or CBRE agents. The use of nanoscale sensors for CBRE can be deployed for advance security to

• transportation systems (protection for air, bus, train/subway, etc.);

• military (protection for facilities, equipment and personnel);

• federal buildings (White House, U.S. embassies, and all other federal buildings);

• customs (for border crossings, international travel, etc.);

• civilian businesses; and schools.

Further research will yield sensor technologies that are cheaper and lighter yet far more sensitive, selective, and reliable than current systems.

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