McAleenan Touts Early Success of Rapid DNA Technology

Technology that can quickly determine familial relationships demonstrated success on its first day in stopping adult illegal immigrants from claiming children accompany them as theirs, says Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan. DHS in early May began pilot evaluations of Rapid DNA instruments on the southwest border to determine whether alien family units entering the U.S. from Mexico are indeed related to help stop fraud and to thwart human trafficking. On the first day of the Rapid DNA pilot “we had 12 adults come forward and say, ‘It’s not my child,’” McAleenan told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on May 23. “First day of the pilot in one location.” He said so far in fiscal year 2019 DHS has encountered 3,500 cases of fraud in family relationships or adults claiming to be unaccompanied children. He also said that there haven’t been many cases though of the same child being smuggled into the U.S. twice by different adults but said it is happening. The desktop instruments are being provided by ANDE. The system can determine in less than two hours of a tissue sample being taken by swab whether two or more people are related. Legacy methods of DNA collection and analysis can take weeks or months to obtain results.

Embry-Riddle, Drone Defense Systems to Commercialize CUAS Technology

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ. and Drone Defense Systems LLC have teamed to commercialize technology that detects and takes over unauthorized drones and guides them to a safe landing. The technology was developed by Embry-Riddle faculty member Dr. Houbing Song and is being licensed exclusively to Florida-based Drone Defense for commercialization. Drone Defense will work with Song and Embry-Riddle to further refine the concept, build a prototype and pursue related products. The technology uses acoustics to distinguish unmanned aircraft systems from birds and includes a neural network that continuously learns. “The goal of our technology is to counter unauthorized drones effectively, while ensuring low collateral damage and low cost per engagement,” says Sotirios George Kaminis, founder and CEO of Drone Defense.