LINTHICUM, Md. – May 24, 2010 – Northrop Grumman Corporation has begun deliveries of critical assay technology to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as part of the company's BioWatch Gen-3 contract to develop a new generation of biological detectors for homeland defense applications.
The assay represents the key technological component of Northrop Grumman's BioWatch Gen-3 system. BioWatch Gen-3 is envisioned by DHS as a fully autonomous network of bio-detectors located in population centers around the U.S. that will continuously monitor the air for agents of biological concern.
Under a Phase I indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract valued at $15.1 million awarded in November, Northrop Grumman's Advanced Concepts & Technologies Division is providing its Next-Gen Automated Detection Systems (NG-ADS) for independent laboratory and field testing at military and national laboratories. The intent is to demonstrate that the NG-ADS meets or exceeds performance criteria with regard to both detection and reporting.
"Automating the bio-detection process in these next generation instruments will provide much earlier warning of a bio-terrorism attack," said Dave Tilles, vice president of homeland defense programs at Northrop Grumman. "It will operate 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, in select cities across the nation. Earlier warning will allow the nation's public health and safety officials to reduce exposure, distribute medication sooner and proactively manage the response to a bio-threat."
Northrop Grumman established its leadership in biodetection technology by successfully developing and deploying a national network of Biohazard Detection Systems (BDS) within the U.S. Postal Service. The BDS collects and analyzes air samples from mail-sorting systems using polymerase chain reaction technology to detect trace amounts of DNA from biological agents. The company intends to leverage its biodetection systems experience and expertise gained in support of the U.S. Postal Service for the BioWatch program.
The Northrop Grumman BioWatch team includes Luminex Corporation, Austin, Texas; Research International, Monroe, Wash.; and Global FIA, Inc., Fox Island, Wash.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.