Friday, October 14, 2016

Stigma Mission: An Event with START and DARPA on the National Mall

The Department of Defense (DoD), through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) and the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) are currently conducting a research project titled “Mobile Radiation Detectors: Threat Perception and Device Acceptance.”  This project is in support of DARPA’s SIGMA Program, which aims to revolutionize detection and deterrent capabilities for countering nuclear terrorism.

In order to test the feasibility of using small, portable radiation detectors in large urban settings, START and DARPA will be hosting an all-day event on Sunday, October 23rd, 2016 from 09:00 – 17:00 in the National Mall, Washington, D.C. The event is titled SIGMA MISSION and is an interactive game that is designed to serve as a test deployment of these mobile radiation devices.  Using a set of clues, each participant in the game will be directed to specific locations in the National Mall.  The information collected during the game will provide valuable information to DARPA regarding the adoption of the technology and gauge the functionality of the device in a populated environment akin to the urban setting in which the device could be used in.

This will be a great opportunity for students to interact with DOD, DHS, and START staff as well as ROTC units from the area and midshipmen from the Naval Academy.  Participants will also experience first-hand the collection of empirical data for an operationally-focused project while participating in a fun-filled event with incentives for the participants (including iPads, laptops, game consoles, etc.)  Transportation to-and-from the event and lunch will be provided for all invited guests that register.   

Participants must be U.S. citizens or residents, have a valid form of ID and be affiliated to a University.  If you have questions about eligibility, please reach out to

Below please find our event’s informational web page, DARPA’s most recent press release about the SIGMA program and the registration page link.

SIGMA Mission Information Page: Password: SIGMA

Registration Page:
 Password: SIGMA

DARPA and START have extended this invitation to students from institutions in the area that have demonstrated a strong commitment to research, service and national security.  Therefore we are excited to extend this invitation to the students and faculty/staff in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, at the University of Maryland, College Park.