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National Security Directorate

Leadership in Signature Discovery and Threat Detection

PNNL delivers leadership and advancements in science, national security, energy, and the environment for the benefit of the nation. Our Laboratory Objectives help us distinguish ourselves as a world-leading provider of science and technology. Of those Laboratory Objectives, NSD is the steward of Disruption of Illicit Nuclear Trafficking.

Directorate Objectives help us define how we will advance high-impact solutions within the areas of signature discovery and threat reduction. Directorate Objectives result in transformational outcomes, and create distinguishing capabilities for PNNL and the nation.

  • Disrupt Illicit Nuclear Trafficking Laboratory Objective. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is making a significant investment in tools and techniques necessary to make measurable progress towards dramatically increasing nuclear security. Our comprehensive approach endeavors to define and detect an optimized set of nefarious signatures and transactions associated with the technologies, commodities, knowledge and trafficking of nuclear materials. PNNL's efforts will help enable the U.S. to more effectively forecast, detect and disrupt nuclear trafficking activity.
  • Resilient Cyber Infrastructure investigates new and novel ways to effectively model, measure, and update in real-time a network's defensive posture through large, multiscale, dynamic graph analytics that inform the automated system control to protect vulnerable assets within the network while disrupting the attackers plan.
  • Transformational Analytics addresses the challenges associated with "big data" which require the development of innovative algorithms, mathematical models, data-intensive computing architectures, and novel sensor analytic methods capable of handling multiple spatial and temporal scales at varying resolution. In response, PNNL seeks to develop novel methods and technologies to accelerate discovery in high-volume, high-variety, high-data-rate environments.
  • Exploiting the Social Online Landscape addresses the scientific and engineering challenges involved with quickly adapting to new online social technologies. The public's increasing comfort with living virtual lives coupled with the constant emergence of new technologies makes the exploitation of this dynamic landscape a top priority for national security.
  • Bio-event Characterization to Inform Response includes the development of a science-based decision support capability as well as focused research to answer key science questions that need to be addressed to support timely and effective decision making to respond to both natural and intentional biological outbreaks or attacks.

These Directorate Objectives are directly supported by investment in four initiatives:

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National Security Directorate