The Inverse Scattering Problem and Solutions for Addressing Bioterrorism
The immediate warning of a bioterrorist attack in progress will reduce its effectiveness significantly. However, concern for the serious economic consequences of false positive alarms, has resulted in a predominant emphasis on identification-based detection concepts. These, in turn, require that the collected agents be biochemically analyzed or tested. Because of the great number and variety of potential agents, such procedures are far too limited and slow. Examination of an aerosol-based attack's properties confirms that application of an abbreviated form of classical inverse electromagnetic scattering theory can provide an immediate response without significant false alarms.
Of the many terrorist threats posed by fanatical groups and individuals, few are as insidious as those involving biological agents. Such agents are difficult to detect, may become well established long before they become apparent, are inexpensive to prepare, and have the potential to cause enormous losses of both lives and property. The Nation remains almost as vulnerable to a bioterrorist attack today as it was a decade ago. There is an imminent need to refocus attention and resources on confronting the possibility of such attacks and, thereby, protecting the most vulnerable domestic targets. The private sector (which includes shopping centers, transportation centers, office buildings, performing aits centers, etc.) will be expected to take far greater responsibility for the protection of its client populations. Just as it provides for security and fire protection at such facilities, it must provide also protection against new types of threats, with bioterrorism an early priority. An immediate warning of an attack in progress remains the most important element required to minimize its consequences. In this regard, we believe the Inverse Electromagnetic Scattering Problem and its associated solutions appeal* to offer the most propitious guidance as to how this may be achieved.