Animal Health Sensing and Surveillance

Dr. Eric Vanzant at the University of Kentucky focuses on the development of coordinated surveillance, monitoring, and response systems for tracking and early detection of disease outbreaks in the U.S. livestock population to help prevent disruptions of the beef supply. This project has developed an ear tag based sensor that monitors the health of individual animals. The system is designed to wirelessly communicate with a personal computer to provide livestock producers with continuous information about the health status of their animals. The body temperature, along with other types of health status information, is transferred into a sophisticated computer model that has been shown to be capable of providing early warning of animal disease outbreaks.


The Challenge

The task of assuring the security of our homeland involves protecting the citizens of the United States, the nation's critical infrastructure and key assets. This is necessary to sustain the nation's vitality against terrorism and other threats. This protection must originate at the community level. It requires discovering, developing and deploying new technology that will support first responders and key decision makers in local communities.

The Mission

NIHS' mission is to discover, develop and deploy solutions that protect and preserve the critical infrastructure of the nation's communities.

The Institute

NIHS aligns projects and research objectives with the needs and requirements of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The strategy is to manage a distributed research enterprise that effectively transitions research and development into solutions. NIHS works with DHS to determine technology needs at the community level. Then, teams are quickly assembled from multiple universities to develop solutions to the needs.

The Strategy

Through management of the Kentucky Critical Infrastructure Protections Program (KCI), the National Institute for Hometown Security (NIHS) provides an ongoing, integrated program dedicated to developing new technologies and devices. NIHS works through qualified academic institutions to accomplish the technological objectives.