PDC Services



The PDC provides a number of engineering services related to force protection and protective design. The Corps of Engineers works on a cost-reimbursable basis. When the PDC provides services for customers, the customer covers all expenses, including the cost of labor and any costs for travel, if travel is involved.

Security Engineering and Antiterrorism

The Protective Design Center provides a wide range of security engineering and protective design services to help facilities resist terrorist attacks. Numerous government agencies use our expertise to establish a risk profile for their facilities. Our security engineers are skilled at performing vulnerability analyses and risk assessments to determine the recommended level of protection required for a facility or asset in order to resist terrorist attacks. Terrorist threats considered include vehicle bombs, improvised explosive devices (IED), grenades, mortars, ballistics, forced entry, covert entry, insider compromise, mail/supplies bombs, and chemical and biological contamination. Our expertise and recommendations are based on a proven approach to reduce damage and injury from terrorist attacks.


Security Threat and Vulnerability Assessment


Protective Design Center security engineers execute comprehensive on-site physical security surveys to determine threats and vulnerabilities for critical facilities and individual assets. The information gathered during these surveys is used to develop a set of protective measures designed to mitigate specific aggressor threats. These protective designs use a proven security engineering approach which incorporates elements of construction, equipment, procedures, and manpower. Generally, vulnerability assessment teams will prepare a cost-efficient, facility-specific report that details the protective design strategy and includes implementation plans, installation instructions, and estimated costs.

Assessment of Damage from Terrorist Acts, Accidental Explosions, and Wartime Attacks

The Protective Design Center has inspected post-attack damage at the New York World Trade Center, the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building, and Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. The PDC has also provided field support to forward-deployed Army elements in Bosnia. These experiences give us a unique understanding of security issues and practical mitigation measures.


Chemical, Biological and Radiological (CBR) Protection

The Protective Design Center is involved in collectively protecting buildings from attacks and accidental releases of chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) agents. Work includes vulnerability assessments, inspections, certifications, criteria development, and design and construction services for new and retrofit facility applications. In contrast to personal protection such as masks, collective protection serves a group of individuals and usually consists of an enclosed toxic-free area that is either pressurized by filtered air or sealed to provide passive protection. The main component of facility protection is an appropriately designed overpressure filtration system equipped with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and carbon adsorbers. The PDC works with other DoD agencies including Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, and U.S. Air Force Pacific Air Forces as well as with non-DoD agencies including the U.S. Department of State and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.


Conventional Weapon Resistant Facility Design


Designing facilities such as aircraft shelters, critical operation facilities, and critical maintenance facilities to resist the effects of conventional weapons during wartime is one of our specialties. Typical conventional weapons are air-delivered bombs, ballistic missiles, artillery rounds, rockets, and cannon rounds. Facilities are designed to resist projectile penetration, airblast loading, fragment impact, ground shock, and extreme building motions or in-structure shock.

Camouflage, Concealment, and Deception

Camouflage, concealment, and deception (CCD) is a necessary part of design to resist conventional weapons. In fact, CCD usually provides more protection per dollar spent than facility hardening. Camouflage disguises a facility; concealment prevents observation; and deception misleads the attacker. The principle objective is to avoid detection and subsequent acquisition by weapon guidance systems.


Ammunition Storage, Maintenance, and Production Facility Design


Ammunition and munitions storage igloos and magazines, as well as ammunition maintenance and production facilities must be designed in accordance with Department of Defense standard DoD 6055.9-STD and Army regulation AR 385-64. The Department of Defense Explosive Safety Board (DDESP) must approve these designs. The Protective Design Center and their colleagues at the Huntsville Engineering Service Center have extensive experience in explosive safety related design.

Nuclear Weapon Resistant Facility Design


National security, during the cold war, relied on the protection from nuclear weapons provided at critical facilities such as NORAD at Cheyenne Mountain and the Minuteman Ballistic Missile Silos. After construction of these facilities, the Protective Design Center conducted several studies to mitigate the airblast, thermal radiation, and ground shock produced by these weapons.

Electromagnetic Pulse Protection

The Protective Design Center has expertise in electromagnet pulse (EMP) protection. EMP is an electromagnetic environment that is produced by the detonation of a nuclear weapon. Electromagnetic waves propagate efficiently through the air and then induce high currents and voltages in exposed system electrical and electronic circuits. To insure that the equipment survives and remains capable of performing its mission, the Protective Design Center designs special systems to protect the equipment from EMP. All equipment must be shielded and all electronic inputs to the equipment must be filtered.


Electronic Emanation Mitigation


The Protective Design Center maintains expertise in Transient Electromagnetic Pulse Emanation Standard (TEMPEST) protection. TEMPEST is both a specification for equipment and a term used to describe the process for preventing compromising emanations. The main purpose of TEMPEST protection is to protect information. Electronic equipment such as computers, printers, and electronic typewriters give off electromagnetic emanations. By intercepting these emanations, an aggressor using off-the-shelf equipment can monitor and retrieve classified or sensitive information as it is being processed without the user being aware that a loss is occurring. PDC engineers design protection systems that prevent aggressors from intercepting emanations by shielding electronic equipment that processes classified information or by shielding areas that contain the equipment.