FREDERICA, Del. – Today, ILC Dover opened a new, state-of-the-art test facility in that will be used to test technology and products for homeland security and municipal infrastructure protection.
The Security component of the facility is funded by the Department of Homeland Security and will be used to test the Resilient Tunnel Plug technology. Novel spin-off technologies for flood protection and mitigation will be tested in a second section of the facility which has been funded by ILC Dover. The Resilient Tunnel Plug program is a Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate effort to provide security to transit systems as protection from flooding in the event of a terrorist attack. The test facility is a full-scale model of a subway tunnel and was originally designed and built for DHS by West Virginia University for testing tunnel plug technologies. The initial test facility hardware was relocated to ILC Dover’s Frederica facility where the development, construction and modification of the test facility to support the efforts of developing the tunnel plug and spin-off flood mitigation technologies was finalized.
“In 2008, we were approached by the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate to help with an effort to support our nation’s security,” said ILC Dover President Fran DiNuzzo. “They approached us with the idea of designing a large plug that would hold back 30 feet of water inside a tunnel in the unfortunate event of a terrorist attack. Since that time we have enjoyed a great working relationship with the team at the Department of Homeland Security and the result of these efforts is the Resilient Tunnel Plug security system that protects American lives and our infrastructure. In addition, following Superstorm Sandy in October of 2012, we were able to leverage lessons learned from this program and work with the City of New York to develop a series of novel Flood Protection Systems that can protect national and international transit operations. New York City represents the first round of this business expansion with protection against the threats of flooding due to storm events and global warming.”
“The creativity and ingenuity of our partners at ILC Dover, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and West Virginia University have developed and tested several prototypes of this unique inflatable tunnel plug technology,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Reginald Brothers. “Through their efforts and continued hard work, the nation's transportation systems will be more resilient to terrorist threats and natural disasters.”“I am proud of our first-class workforce and the exciting things going on right here in the First State,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, (D-Del.). “The important and potentially life-saving work being done at ILC Dover is a great example of this. This also shows how partnerships between government, business and education have the potential to yield results that can impact not only the safety of our country, but the economy as well. I am thrilled to see this work going on right here in Delaware.”