Indianapolis Motor Speedway (DARPAtv)

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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.

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