A five-year, $24 million contract awarded to the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is the largest single research contract in Auburn’s history.
The contract will go toward advancing detection canine sciences and enhancing operational threat detection capabilities.
“Auburn has long been recognized for its world-class detection canine sciences research, and this funding from the Department of Homeland Security will allow significant enhancement and expansion of this critically important work,” said James Weyhenmeyer, Auburn vice president for research and economic development.
The contract will support initiatives in Auburn’s recently established, transdisciplinary Detection Canine Sciences, Innovation, Technology and Education (DCSITE) program, which will serve as the primary academic resource to the DHS S&T for expertise in all areas of detection canine sciences.
Canines are proven to be an important counterterrorism tool to prevent and respond to national security threats. Detector dogs are widely deployed for real-time, advanced threat detection to help deter acts of terrorism against infrastructure, military, political and civilian targets.
“No other detection option currently available can locate and track-to-source small-quantity odors in real time, providing law enforcement with critical threat intelligence and enabling immediate deployment of countermeasures to reduce the risk of successful attacks,” said Frank “Skip” Bartol, College of Veterinary Medicine associate dean for research and graduate studies and DCSITE program project investigator.