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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Defending the U.S. Air Transportation System Against Chemical and Biological Threats. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11556.
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DEFENDING THE U.S. AIR TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM AGAINST CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL THREATS

Committee on Assessment of Security Technologies for Transportation

National Materials Advisory Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Defending the U.S. Air Transportation System Against Chemical and Biological Threats. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11556.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by Contract No. DTFA03-99-C-00006 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Transportation Security Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agency that provided support for the project.

A limited number of copies of this report are available from the National Materials Advisory Board, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Keck WS932, Washington, DC 20001; (202) 334-3505 or (202) 334-3718; Internet, http://www.nas.edu/nmab.

Additional copies of this report are available from the
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Defending the U.S. Air Transportation System Against Chemical and Biological Threats. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11556.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine


The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.


The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.


The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.


The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.


www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Defending the U.S. Air Transportation System Against Chemical and Biological Threats. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11556.
×

COMMITTEE ON ASSESSMENT OF SECURITY TECHNOLOGIES FOR TRANSPORTATION

JAMES F. O’BRYON, Chair,

The O’Bryon Group, Belair, Maryland

SANDRA L. HYLAND, Vice Chair,

Tokyo Electron Technology Center, Albany, New York

CHERYL A. BITNER,

AAI Corporation, Phoenix, Maryland

DONALD E. BROWN,

University of Virginia, Charlottesville

JOHN B. DALY, Consultant,

Arlington, Virginia

COLIN G. DRURY,

State University of New York at Buffalo

PATRICK GRIFFIN,

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico

JIRI JANATA,

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta

HARRY E. MARTZ, JR.,

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California

RICHARD McGEE,

Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

RICHARD L. ROWE,

Safeview, Saratoga, California

ERIC R. SCHWARTZ,

The Boeing Company, Huntington Beach, California

MICHAEL STORY, Consultant,

Los Gatos, California

H. BRUCE WALLACE,

ORSA Corporation, Aberdeen, Maryland

Staff

JAMES KILLIAN, Study Director

TERI G. THOROWGOOD, Administrative Coordinator

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Defending the U.S. Air Transportation System Against Chemical and Biological Threats. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11556.
×

NATIONAL MATERIALS ADVISORY BOARD

KATHARINE G. FRASE, Chair,

IBM, Hopewell Junction, Kentucky

JOHN ALLISON,

Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Michigan

PAUL BECHER,

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

CHERYL R. BLANCHARD,

Zimmer, Inc., Warsaw, Indiana

BARBARA D. BOYAN,

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta

L. CATHERINE BRINSON,

Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

DIANNE CHONG,

The Boeing Company, St. Louis

FIONA DOYLE,

University of California, Berkeley

HAMISH L. FRASER,

Ohio State University, Columbus

JOHN J. GASSNER,

U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center, Natick, Massachusetts

SOSSINA M. HAILE,

California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

THOMAS S. HARTWICK,

Consultant, Redmond, Washington

ARTHUR H. HEUER,

Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

ELIZABETH HOLM,

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico

ANDREW T. HUNT,

nGimat Company, Atlanta, Georgia

FRANK E. KARASZ,

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

CONILEE G. KIRKPATRICK,

HRL Laboratories, Malibu, California

TERRY LOWE,

Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico

HENRY J. RACK,

Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

LINDA SCHADLER,

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York

LYLE H. SCHWARTZ, Consultant,

Chevy Chase, Maryland

JAMES C. SEFERIS,

University of Washington, Seattle

SHARON L. SMITH,

Lockheed Martin Corporation, Bethesda, Maryland

T.S. SUDARSHAN,

Materials Modification, Inc., Fairfax, Virginia

Staff

GARY FISCHMAN, Director

DENNIS CHAMOT, Acting Director (October 2004 to March 2005)

TONI MARECHAUX, Director (to October 2004)

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Defending the U.S. Air Transportation System Against Chemical and Biological Threats. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11556.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Defending the U.S. Air Transportation System Against Chemical and Biological Threats. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11556.
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Preface

The Committee on Assessment of Security Technologies for Transportation was appointed by the National Research Council (NRC) in response to a request from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for a study of technologies to protect the nation’s air transportation system from terrorist attacks. The committee judged that the best way to provide a timely response would be to produce a series of short reports on promising technologies, focusing on specific topics of greatest interest to the sponsor. This is the second of four such topical reports, all of which focus on air transportation security.1 The committee believes that the air transportation environment provides a test case for the deployment of security technologies that could subsequently be used to protect other transportation modes as well.

The discovery in February 2004 of the biological poison ricin in a Senate office building in Washington, D.C., highlights the fact that the terrorist’s arsenal now includes not only the all-too-familiar weapons such as small arms and explosives, but also chemical and biological agents. This expanding arsenal demands that policy makers and transportation authorities consider the deployment of new defensive technologies to respond to the new threats. In this report, the committee explores defensive strategies that could be used to protect air transportation spaces (specifically, airport terminals and aircraft) against attack with chemical or biological agents and makes recommendations with respect to the role of TSA in implementing these strategies.

The committee acknowledges the speakers from government and industry who took the time to share their ideas and experiences in briefings at the committee’s meetings. The committee would like to offer special thanks to Jiri Janata and Richard Rowe, who were the major contributors to the writing of this report. The following former committee members also greatly assisted the work of the current committee through their participation in many of its activities: Thomas S. Hartwick, chair through May 31, 2005; Len Limmer, consultant; and Elizabeth H. Slate, Medical University of South Carolina. Finally, the committee acknowledges the contributions to the completion of this report from National Materials Advisory Board director Gary Fischman, consultant Greg Eyring, and NRC staff members James Killian and Teri Thorowgood.


James F. O’Bryon, Chair

Sandra L. Hyland, Vice Chair

Committee on Assessment of Security Technologies for Transportation

1  

The first report was Opportunities to Improve Airport Passenger Screening with Mass Spectrometry (The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2004). Topics to be addressed in future reports are millimeter-wave imaging for detection of explosives and data fusion and integration for airport terminals.

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Defending the U.S. Air Transportation System Against Chemical and Biological Threats. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11556.
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Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Raymond H. Bittel, The Boeing Company,

John Brockman, Sandia National Laboratories,

Philip E. Coyle III, Science Strategies,

Susanna P. Gordon, Sandia National Laboratories,

Mohamed Sofi Ibrahim, USAMRIID,

Edwin P. Przybylowicz, Eastman Kodak Co., retired, and

R. Paul Schaudies, Science Applications International Corporation.

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by R. Stephen Berry, University of Chicago. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests solely with the authoring committee and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Defending the U.S. Air Transportation System Against Chemical and Biological Threats. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11556.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Defending the U.S. Air Transportation System Against Chemical and Biological Threats. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11556.
×

Figures and Tables

FIGURES

1-1

 

Generic airport diagram showing various airport spaces and some likely sites for chemical/biological attacks,

 

7

2-1

 

The relative potency of toxic gases deployed by updraft application,

 

10

2-2

 

The relative potency of toxic gases deployed by downdraft application,

 

11

2-3

 

Airflow patterns in a typical passenger aircraft,

 

12

2-4

 

Filter removal efficiencies for particles of various sizes,

 

13

3-1

 

Operational schematic of continuous chemical sensors,

 

16

3-2

 

Operational schematic of discontinuous biosensing system (assay),

 

16

3-3

 

Key characteristics of sensor systems,

 

17

3-4

 

Typical detection times for chemical and biological agents,

 

18

4-1

 

Partial list of chemical/biological detection system developers,

 

26

4-2

 

Partial list of technologies being investigated for various stages of chemical/biological detection systems,

 

27

TABLES

2-1

 

Examples of Chemical and Biological Threat Agents of Concern,

 

9

2-2

 

Toxicities of Lethal Gases,

 

9

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Defending the U.S. Air Transportation System Against Chemical and Biological Threats. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11556.
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Acronyms


DARPA

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

DHS

Department of Homeland Security

DOD

Department of Defense

DOE

Department of Energy


ECS

Environmental Control System


HEPA

high-efficiency particulate air

HVAC

heating, ventilation, and air conditioning


LCT50

lethal concentration of toxin at which 50 percent of test animals are killed


NRC

National Research Council

NSF

National Science Foundation


PFA

probability of false alarms

POD

probability of detection

PROACT

Protective and Response Options for Airport Counter-Terrorism

PROTECT

Program for Response Options and Technology Enhancements for Chemical/Biological Terrorism


SARS

severe acute respiratory syndrome

SBCCOM

Soldier Biological and Chemical Command

SFIA

San Francisco International Airport


TSA

Transportation Security Administration

TSWG

Technical Support Working Group


UV

ultraviolet

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2006. Defending the U.S. Air Transportation System Against Chemical and Biological Threats. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11556.
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Historically, most terrorist attacks on civilian targets have involved the use of firearms or explosives, and current defensive strategies are aimed at preventing attacks perpetrated by such means. However, the use of the nerve agent sarin in 1995 to attack the Tokyo subway system, the use of the U.S. mail in 2001 to distribute letters containing anthrax spores, and the discovery in 2004 of the biological toxin ricin in U.S. Senate Office Buildings in Washington, D.C., demonstrate that chemical and biological agents have been added to terrorists' arsenals. Attacks involving chemical/biological agents are of great concern, not only because of the potential for mass casualties but also because there is no strategy or technology fielded today that can respond adequately to this threat. As the United States and other countries reassess the security measures they have in place to prevent or defend against such attacks, the risks to the air transportation system as a primary target become clear. Defending the U.S. Air Transportation System Against Chemical and Biological Threats is an exploration of defensive strategies that could be used to protect air transportation spaces (specifically, airport terminals and aircraft) against attack with chemical or biological agents and makes recommendations with respect to the role of TSA in implementing these strategies.

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