Under DARPA’s Bio Reporters for Subterranean Surveillance program we are exploring a method to use naturally-occurring fungus to detect buried TNT. By using natural soil fungal webs to propagate engineered bacteria underground and send signals back up to the surface, we plan to create a warning system that glows under ultra-violet light to indicate the presence of buried TNT.
Under DARPA’s Friend or Foe program, scientists at Raytheon Technologies are developing a portable device to detect bacteria and evaluate their potential to cause harm as soon as or even before they pose a threat to civilian and military populations. This system will characterize bacteria quickly by examining their behavior, where current surveillance techniques don’t work on undiscovered bacterial strains or on bacteria engineered to evade detection.
Raytheon Technologies developing portable "Friend or Foe" system to identify harmful bacteria before they cause harm
Right now, there is no technology that can quickly detect engineered microorganisms. For the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), we’re developing a system that adapts proven microfluidics hardware and uses our proven cybersecurity techniques to identify microorganisms based on their DNA sequences.