A U.S. patent for the Homeland Explosive Consequence Assessment Tool (HExCAT) has been granted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through its Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). This patent safeguards the Department’s innovation, ensuring that the technology remains a valuable asset in fulfilling the DHS mission for an extended period. HExCAT is a distinctive modeling system designed to aid emergency managers in preparing communities for large-scale, scenario-specific hazards. It enables the prediction of consequences and potential outcomes. Rooted in the directive outlined in Homeland Security Presidential Directive-19, which addresses the Combating Terrorist Use of Explosives in the United States, HExCAT was developed to enhance the nation’s readiness to confront evolving threats effectively.

“With the HExCAT, response planners are now equipped with a fully integrated system that predicts the likely consequences of an explosion, including human injuries, structural damages, and medical responses, helping us evaluate a range of what-if scenarios and focus our energy on the most effective means of prevention, detection, mitigation and response,” said Helen Mearns, Deputy Director of S&T’s Chemical Security Analysis Center (CSAC).

HExCAT provides emergency managers with capabilities to streamline decision-making and emergency response planning by, among others, identifying vulnerabilities at large venues, devising effective evacuation procedures for facilities, and planning routes for relocating large groups of people to medical facilities. Additionally, HExCAT houses a library of 28 different types of military and homemade explosives, including various fuel and oxidizer combinations that amplify explosive effects, and provides unique insight into potential worst-case outcomes. The tool can also model different scenarios in diverse indoor and outdoor public spaces to more accurately predict how these scenarios will play out and how to adapt in real life situations.

S&T’s CSAC developed the HExCAT with support from the Directorate’s Explosives Threat Assessment Program, Battelle, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Leidos, and the National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (NCDMPH). The U.S. Patent Office awarded the patent to eight scientists:

  • CSAC
    • Rachel Gooding, Chief Scientist
  • Batelle
    • Alexander Dolan, Chemist
    • Brian Hawkins, PhD, Senior Program Manager
    • Kevin Wegman, Senior Data Scientist
    • Patrick Wilson, Software Development
  • HHS
    • Timothy Davis, MD, MPH, Former Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR)
  • Leidos
    • David Bradley, PhD, Senior Engineer
    • Tom Kirsch, MD, MPH, Former Director

S&T expects to continue using HExCAT’s emergency planning and response preparation capabilities. More information about HExCAT can be found on S&T’s website: HExCAT Fact Sheet.

See Also-

DHS CISA Security Planning Workbook- September 2023

Unauthorized Drone Activity Over Sporting Venues

Counter-UAS Technology Guide

Post Image Credit: Department of Homeland Security