Northrop Grumman tests BioWatch candidate sensor

A Northrop Grumman fully-automated biological threat detection system recently completed a rigorous series of field tests that included the collection and analyses of over 20,000 samples taken at various locations.

The Next Generation Automated Detection System, Northrop's offering for a U.S. Department of Homeland Security bio-sensor acquisition program, collects air samples, analyzes the samples for the presence of multiple biological pathogens and then reports the results several times a day through a secure network, according to UPI.

"There are concerns that our nation won't be ready to respond should a biological attack occur," Dave Tilles, the director of Homeland Security programs at Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector, said, UPI reports. "Early warning provided by an automated detection system such as the NG-ADS will allow the nation's public health and public safety officials to proactively manage the response to a biological event to reduce exposure."

Northrop tested the sensors in a major U.S. city of a period over several months. They operated in both indoor and outdoor environments.

The DHS is expected to issue a formal request for proposals to produce bio-sensors for its BioWatch Gen-3 acquisition program late this year. The total potential value of the three year contract for BioWatch Gen-3 is expected to be more than $37 million, according to