Indianapolis Motor Speedway (DARPAtv)


Early-warning system for chemical threats

To detect illicit chemical, biological, explosive and radioactive and nuclear materials released into the air, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is testing its ChemSigma initiative -- a pilot study to provide initial data and insights into how such real-time chemical sensor networks would function.

The DARPA Sigma program, which began in 2014, has demonstrated a city-scale ability to detect radiological and nuclear. Sigma+ expanded the program to detect full chemical biological radiological nuclear and explosive threats at a region scale.

The ChemSigma sensor package includes a chemical sensor, a wind sensor and a communications board.  Algorithms were built based on releases of a non-hazardous chemical simulant into a large metropolitan area. The system was tested in August 2018 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in partnership with the Marion County Health Department and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

About the Author

Connect with the GCN staff on Twitter @GCNtech.


  • business meeting (Monkey Business Images/

    Civic tech volunteers help states with legacy systems

    As COVID-19 exposed vulnerabilities in state and local government IT systems, the newly formed U.S. Digital Response stepped in to help. Its successes offer insight into existing barriers and the future of the civic tech movement.

  • data analytics (

    More visible data helps drive DOD decision-making

    CDOs in the Defense Department are opening up their data to take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools that help surface insights and improve decision-making.

Stay Connected