Threat and Vulnerability Assessment
ARA is the developer of the Federal Security Risk (FSR) Manager methodology and software. We perform detailed threat assessments considering likely attack scenarios and specific vulnerabilities of facilities.
We are intimately involved in research into and analysis of existing and emerging threats and counter measures. We consider the full spectrum of blast, chemical, biological, and radiological threats. We develop the Vulnerability Assessment and Protection Option (VAPO) program that provides fast-running, physics based damage and injury assessments for urban threats considering the 3D reflection and diffraction of blast.
We perform assessments for military and civilian facilities, including military bases, federal buildings (offices, courthouses, embassies), airports, and industrial facilities.
Natural Hazard Threat and Vulnerability Assessment
ARA has pioneered the development of advanced tools to assess the threat of physical damage and economic loss produced by severe windstorms such as hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, and extra-tropical cyclones and related hazards such as storm surge, waves, and coastal flooding. Our physics-based approach integrates climatological models, local conditions, structure response, and debris translation.
We perform analyses and provide protective solutions for individual facilities as well as entire portfolios. Facility evaluations range from private homes to commercial buildings to power plants to large industrial complexes.
ARA performs wind certification inspections of houses and buildings in the state of Florida that qualify many home and building owners for insurance discounts. If you are interested in learning more about our wind certification surveys, click here.
Probabilistic risk assessment and design optimization
ARA performs risk and loss estimation assessments using state-of-the-art probabilistic analysis methods. ARA is a pioneer in developing mathematical optimization tools that explicitly consider uncertainties. These assessment tools provide planners and designers with a probabilistic assessment of the potential for damage and injury due to rare events and methods to optimally mitigate the effects of these events.
ARA develops decision-centered solutions that improve interactions between technology and people, among team members, and between decision makers and their environments. Our solutions enhance the performance of those confronted with judgments and decisions in situations marked by high stakes, time pressure, ambiguous or conflicting information, and rapidly changing situations. We develop these solutions through understanding of how decision-makers process personal experience that they encounter within the context of their own environments.
Our approach incorporates time-tested Cognitive Task Analysis methods to develop an understanding of how decision-makers process personal experience. This approach uses in-depth interviews, incident accounts, case histories, examples, and high-fidelity simulations that ground people’s reports about cognition in lived experience and actual behavior.
Our solutions are used in operational command centers, by firefighters, critical care nurses and physicians, air traffic controllers, electronic warfare specialists, pilots, civil law mediators, FAA inspectors, systems analysts, software program debuggers, AWACS weapons directors, battle planners, intelligence analysts, military commanders, laundry product consumers, submarine sonar operators, and weather forecasters.
Modeling and Simulation
ARA develops high fidelity computer models to simulate the effects of hazards on humans and man-made structures. Hazards include both natural and man-made extreme loads (e.g., blast, hurricane winds, flooding), chemical and biological agents, and radiological threats.
Our simulations have a high degree of accuracy because they model fundamental physical, chemical, and biological processes. Our simulation methods are also based on extensive test data and are subject to rigorous validation.
ARA’s modeling and simulation expertise is used for training first responders and design of mitigation strategies.
ARA develops and implements both individual sensors as well as complete sensor systems.
Sensors we develop cover a full range of observables and technologies, from acoustics to radiation. We develop fully integrated sensor systems for security applications to detect and prevent physical intrusion or ingress/egress of specific materials. Our fully integrated solutions employ EO and IR cameras, motion sensors, magnetometers, lidar, acoustics, and radiation.
Structural Mitigation Strategies
ARA develops strategies for renovation and retrofit of existing buildings as well as the design of new structures to resist potential terrorist attacks. We also develop new innovative protective methods and perform testing of protection products, such as the explosive resistant coating DragonShield™ used to enhance military vehicles.
Our designs consider the full spectrum of blast, chemical, biological, and radiological threats. We develop mitigation strategies for military and civilian facilities, including military bases, federal buildings (offices, courthouses, embassies), airports, and industrial facilities. Our mitigation strategies are designed to minimize facility damage and maximize occupant safety.
ARA both develops new methods for protecting individuals from chemical and biological hazards as well as performs testing to determine the efficacy of existing protection methods and products.
We develop anti-microbial filters for masks, reactive clothing that can detoxify an agent when it contacts clothing, and decontamination agents that are easily transportable, highly effective at killing biological agents and are non-corrosive. We develop fate and transport models that predict the dispersion of hazardous agents as well as environmental effects that degrade the agents during transport.
Our test labs are Bio-Safety level 2 certifiable.
Pollution prevention and remediation
Environmental Treatment Process Development and Testing
ARA owns and operates a 20,000 sq. ft facility in Panama City, FL. Facilities include a microbial biodegradation laboratory with wet chemistry and media preparation capabilities, an analytical laboratory, and a fabrication and demonstration high bay. The laboratories are equipped to conduct biodegradation testing, ion exchange resin testing and regeneration, thermal treatment, catalytic evaluations, and supercritical and hydrothermal oxidation testing. The analytical laboratory is equipped with a Dionex DX-500 Ion Chromatography, an HP Series 1100 HPLC, an HP 5890 Series II GC, an HP 6890 GC with MS, and necessary support equipment. Key capabilities include:
- Laboratory through pilot-scale equipment for biodegradation
- (2.5 liter through 300-gallon reactor vessels), ion exchange, and hydrothermal testing
- Shop-fabricated components and pilot systems
- Transportable, trailer-mounted treatment systems for biodegradation and ion exchange
- Laboratory and field-test engineering and technician support
- Design, engineering, startup, and operational support
- Owner-operated and lease options for commercial treatment systems
Manufacturing & Prototyping
ARA conceives, designs, develops, fabricates, and tests a variety of systems including robotic equipment and pavement and geotechnical equipment. ARA’s manufacturing programs include spiral development and life cycle management, strict quality control, ongoing customer support, and interactive training programs for our products.
We operate two primary manufacturing locations, with 67,000 sq. ft. and 57 acres that provide additional land to fabricate and test prototypes. ARA’s facilities possess the security, equipment, tooling for production, testing, evaluation, and spiral developments to support production surge needs.
With our manufacturing and fabrication facilities in distinct locations of the U.S. we are able to provide capabilities ranging from milling, turning, drilling, welding, cutting, and grinding for environmental, robotics and mechanical products with a variety of applications. These in-house capabilities allow ARA to rapidly produce prototypes, fabricate and modify components according to environmental or application-specific factors. This immediate access gives us the ability to rapidly turn around products. ARA has proven flexibility and responsive ability to produce engineering solutions to complex problems, from design to actual demonstration.
ARA develops, prototypes, and manufactures innovative robotic systems. Our robots range from small ground robots to small unmanned air vehicles. Our robotic platforms include:
- tree/building/stair-climbing surveillance robots,
- large tracked and wheeled-vehicle mine clearing robots,
- autonomous patrol vehicles,
- teleoperated weaponized vehicles, and
- small UAVs for surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
Our robots support military operations, law enforcement, search and rescue after natural disasters, and exploration in areas that are unsafe for, or inaccessible by, humans.
We have successfully fielded hundreds of systems worldwide performing a variety of missions including; reconnaissance, surveillance, IED defeat, UXO & mine clearance, and hazardous materials handling.
ARA provides full support for our platforms including:
- Research and development
- Prototype design
- Full-rate production
- Logistical support
- Integrated project team experience
- Demonstration tests
- Spares production
- Repairs and retrofits
- Technical support via phone, online, or on-site visit
- Software development
- Computer based training
Disaster Management and Evacuation Planning
ARA works with organizations to develop comprehensive disaster management master plans that cover preparedness, response, and recovery (both short-term and long-term). ARA provides plans for Emergency Operations Centers to plan emergency communications and determine resources needed for specific emergency scenarios. Plans are provided for events including explosions, fires, weather related emergencies, civil disturbances, communications or power failures, and chemical, biological, or radiological hazards.
ARA develops evacuation plans for complex and large physical facilities. We develop and apply software tools that can handle multiple scenarios, determine optimum paths, and devise large-scale evacuation plans. Our tools use detailed 2D and 3D models of multistory facilities, including modeling of occupants as individual agents to simulate occupant egress/ingress considering occupant mobility, reaction times, occupant behavior, and damage to evacuation routes.
ARA provides forensic analysis on accidents, crashes, and explosions. ARA uses a multidisciplinary physical/chemical approach to develop realistic accidents simulations and determine the accident root cause. We can model highly complex events such as freight derailments with multiple tank cars and potential release of hazardous materials, considering all aspects from the physics of derailment to ensuing rupture to ensuing material dispersion.
Testing and Evaluation
ARA maintains an active large scale explosive testing program for evaluating the response of various structural systems (windows, walls, doors, expedient structures) exposed to actual blast loads. Such tests can provide:
- Proof of novel concepts
- Validation of a product
- Data to develop / improve / refine products and analysis tools
- Product and project specific verification / validation of a particular design for a particular loading and a given performance level
New blast-mitigation technologies and designs are continually being developed. In some instances, these ideas look promising on paper, although their performance during an actual explosive event may be lackluster at best. Alternatively, a tested system may also far exceed expectations. Because of the real-world results that these tests provide, the explosive test bed has become a ‘proving ground’ for both newly developed technologies as well as project-specific designs.