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The Department of Homeland Security’s Science & Technology Directorate is again turning to its fast-track acquisition authority for ideas about how to identify sensors and ensure they aren’t being impersonated.

The DHS S&T recently announced it was seeking companies to prove out technologies that might thwart sensor spoofing in an effort to curtail problems arising from wearable trackers and other sensors being hacked. According to fcw.com, the program falls under a DHS authority that offers speedy decisions on relatively low-cost procurements, named OTS (Other Transactions solicitation).

The new five-year-long deal joins five others, including cyber defense for financial services systems, drone capabilities, airport passenger processing and improving the Global Travel Assessments System. All five are set to close this spring or in early summer.

The small drone effort is focused on small unmanned aerial system technology for Customs and Border Protection and Border Patrol agents, who could use it for overall situational awareness and detection, tracking, interdiction, and apprehension, as well as search and rescue operations, according to the agency.

The new anti-spoofing OTS is designed to assist the agency identify and verify its technology in the field, possibly including some of the new tech being developed under the other OTS. According to DHS, agency personnel deployed to incident scenes are tracked by wearable devices that check their vital data. Similarly, agency equipment that monitors specific geographical areas uses connected sensors to provide contextually relevant situational awareness and detection.  

The devices that provide all the data in those applications are supported by mobile platforms, such as unmanned aerial vehicles and network elements that provide network and data connectivity. DHS said its component agencies have common requirements across their missions to make sure sensor platforms, wearable devices, small UAVs and other network-enabled devices can be identified and verified accurately and aren’t being spoofed. The new call, it said, is looking for innovative identity assurance and anti-spoofing capabilities.