When your agency is responsible for combating the deadliest weapons known to man; nerve gas, the Plague, nuclear weapons; you do everything in your power to detect, defeat, destroy or otherwise neutralize those weapons. But we do not stop there. Our scientists are constantly looking to explore new ways of tackling old problems. We push our research partners to think outside the box to discover new materials and new technologies that can do things that were impossible a year ago. And we combine traditional research with unconventional means to answer some of the most difficult questions about chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.

Basic Sciences

Can a scientific breakthrough be ‘revolutionary’ and ‘affordable’? 

At DTRA, the correct answer is “Yes. It MUST be.” Research and development can be expensive – just ask a pharmaceutical company or a Formula 1 racing team. We know the technologies we pioneer can protect our warfighters and the lives of millions of Americans and our allies, but we also need to maximize the return on the taxpayer money entrusted to us. Our Basic Science programs work with academia and other government labs to get the most ‘bang for the buck’ while also avoiding duplication of efforts. If you are a scientist or researcher that would like to help us solve WMD-related questions, we would like to hear from you.

Untitled Document

We have five major thrust areas within our Basic and Applied Science Department. To learn more about those and other opportunities for partnering with us, explore our pages.
Chemical and biological threats are constantly changing, evolving and being discovered. We identify those threats, create solutions, and work with academia and industry to provide innovative solutions to the warfighter.













Development Programs

Untitled Document
It's not just research - it's research and development.

Some science is aimed at breaking new ground and expanding knowledge, but some science is aimed at developing a very specific answer to a very specific question. Our Development programs focus on solving key problems faced by our warfighters, military leaders, and others that deal directly with combating weapons of mass destruction. Sometimes the answer is a new weapon system capable of targeting and neutralizing a WMD cache deep in enemy territory. Sometimes our warfighters need a handheld tool that can take not only accurate scientific measurements, but the rough and tumble life on the battlefield. And sometimes the answer is a layer of protection – for a soldier, for a vehicle, or maybe for an entire building. Our R&D programs must quickly answer these pressing questions – because lives depend on it.           

 Counter WMD Technologies         Nuclear Technologies         Data Integration and Analysis
Detecting, identifying, tracking, targeting,
and eliminating WMD in the safest way
possible requires special tools,
techniques, and weapons. 
  Nuclear weapons are unique in how they
are built, how they work, and their effects.
We work on unique solutions to stop them
and protect the nation and our warfighters.
  The challenge of WMD requires thorough
analysis to understand the implication of
many different threats. We provide access
to data and tools that model hazard effects
to inform operators, planners, and
responders in making knowledgeable