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Homeland Security

Aviation Security

The primary objectives of Aircraft Hardening research are to determine the vulnerabilities of commercial passenger aircraft to terrorist threats and to investigate and develop methods to protect or mitigate the damage from an in-flight explosion or other criminal action. This includes assessment of threats such as explosives directed energy electromagnetic and man portable air defense systems. Specific areas of focus include:

  • Identify methods/means of modeling internal blast loading in a typical passenger aircraft environment and the respective structural damage including blast and damage characteristics and failure mechanisms. Identify model adaptability to various aircraft designs and model capability to clearly determine specific vulnerabilities.
  • Demonstrate methods/means to protect commercial passenger aircraft from catastrophic structural or critical system failures due to in-flight explosions including solutions applicable to the cargo hole and/or passenger cabin. Near-term solutions should be capable of ready incorporation into existing aircraft while long-term solutions should be applicable to new and/or emerging airframe designs.
  • Identify methods/means to protect the cockpit from unlawful entry and/or disturbance. Provide protection for the door and bulkhead from small arms fire fragmentation devices and brute force threats. Ensure safety parameters such as depressurization requirements and emergency access/egress are not compromised.
  • Determine method/means to identify assess test as appropriate and develop potential countermeasures to threats to commercial aircraft from direct energy electromagnetic man portable air defense systems and other emerging threats. Include efforts that compliment existing Department of Defense (or other public or private) programs that can be leveraged.

Program Description
Secure GPS The increasing utility of GPS for crucial safety and security applications
C-MANPADS A defense system against the risk of shoulder-fired missile attacks or MANPADS
Airborne Internet Update flight crew on potential security threats, critical data, such as the weather, turbulence and landing conditions at different airports

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Page last modified: 13-07-2011 12:50:42 ZULU