DARPA Deploys SIGMA+ Chemical Sensor Network at Indy 500

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency fielded a sensor network to trace radioactive and nuclear materials during the Indianapolis 500 event. DARPA that its SIGMA+ platform networked chemical, radiological and biological threat sensors used by the Department of Homeland Security's Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office to demonstrate its scaling functions.

The agency gathered air sampling data via the ChemSIGMA sensors at the 2018 Indianapolis 500 event and released safe chemical stimulants in the race track to test the sensors' capacity in confirming a material's source.

“The SIGMA+ network enabled real-time alerts of possible threats to be overlaid on a digital map of the raceway, so security staff could identify, with high accuracy, the type and location of a potential WMD or [weapons of mass terror] threat," said Mark Wrobel, SIGMA+ program manager at DARPA's Defense Sciences Office.

CWMD also partnered with the Indianapolis Police Department to install a biological detection tool at the motor speedway to study the different environmental conditions that may occur during the race.

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