Infrastructure and Transportation

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RAND research addresses the challenges of developing, managing, and protecting energy, transportation, water, communications, and other critical infrastructure throughout the world.

  • A U.S. Postal Service mail carrier delivers mail in the rain on Manhattan's Upper West Side during the outbreak of COVID-19 in New York City, New York, April 13, 2020, photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

    Report

    The Postal Service and the Pandemic

    Jun 22, 2020

    How do Americans feel about the Postal Service during the COVID-19 crisis? How do they think USPS compares with private courier companies? Are they concerned about handling mail and packages? New survey data sheds light on these questions and more.

  • A map of the continental United States is shown with lines representing COVID-19 importation risk

    Project

    Tracking the Spread of COVID-19 with Air Travel Data

    Jun 5, 2020

    As the pandemic enters a new phase, punctuated by emerging hot spots and continuing global spread, a new RAND tool lets policymakers predict regional risks of importing cases of COVID-19.

Explore Infrastructure and Transportation

  • A woman prays alone in Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church on Palm Sunday amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Worcester, Massachusetts, April 5, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Role of Faith-Based Organizations During the Pandemic

    Maintaining social and spiritual connections in the midst of COVID-19 are not the only challenges facing communities of faith. Congregations play critical roles in providing social services within communities. How can their services, such as food assistance, be delivered safely?

    Apr 16, 2020

  • People wearing protective face masks wait for a bus in front of St. Paul's Cathedral in London, Britain, March 19, 2020, photo by Simon Dawson/Reuters

    Commentary

    COVID-19: The Questions Ahead for Future Travel and Transport

    COVID-19 could have lasting effects on future travel patterns. Future scenarios, a method for visualizing different possible futures, can help inform decisions in deeply uncertain situations and can be used to think about policies that are important for people's quality of life regardless of how the future unfolds.

    Apr 15, 2020

  • Blog

    Hospitals' Critical Care Capacity, Unemployment Insurance, Farmworkers: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how hospitals can increase critical care capacity, reforming the U.S. unemployment system, supporting farmworkers, and more.

    Apr 10, 2020

  • Graphic depicting quantum computing, design by Alyson Youngblood/RAND Corporation

    Article

    Quantum Computers Will Break the Internet, but Only If We Let Them

    Quantum computers are expected to be powerful enough to break the current cryptography that protects all digital communications. But this scenario is preventable if policymakers take actions now to minimize the harm that quantum computers may cause.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • Woman working at home at a computer, photo by SolStock/Getty Images

    Commentary

    It Is More Important Than Ever for Employers to Look After Staff Health and Wellbeing

    COVID-19 will likely have a direct effect on the health and wellbeing of employees. While many employers responding to the COVID-19 crisis have understandably been concerned with business resilience, processes, and performance, it is important that they also continue to focus on the health and wellbeing of staff.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • News Release

    Future Quantum Computers May Pose Threat to Today's Most-Secure Communications

    Quantum computers that are exponentially faster than any of our current classical computers and are capable of code-breaking applications could be available in 12 to 15 years, posing major risks to the security of current communications systems.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • Green glowing qubits, computer generated abstract background, 3D rendering, photo by sakkmesterke/AdobeStock

    Report

    Securing Communications in the Quantum Computing Age

    Quantum computers are expected to revolutionize computing. But hackers may be able to use them to crack the encryption system that protects all digital communications. How soon could this scenario become a reality? And what can be done to prevent it?

    Apr 9, 2020

  • A sign hangs on a door stating that it does not need to be cleaned, in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2020, photo by Alexander Drago/Reuters

    Commentary

    During Coronavirus Pandemic, Can Congress Members Do Their Jobs by Teleworking?

    The COVID-19 pandemic presents a new challenge to how Congress conducts business. How can the United States leverage existing technologies so lawmakers can continue to work safely and securely?

    Apr 6, 2020

  • Agricultural workers clean carrot crops of weeds amid an outbreak of COVID-19 at a farm near Arvin, California, April 3, 2020, photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

    Commentary

    Forgotten on the Frontlines of the Food Supply Chain

    The working and living conditions of farmworkers make practicing social distancing, self-isolation, or quarantine impossible. In the food supply, farmworkers are the first responders who keep the supply chains going. FEMA, the CDC, and state governments should include farmworkers and agricultural communities in their emergency response plans.

    Apr 3, 2020

  • Blog

    COVID-19's Effects on Mental Health, Food Access, and Education: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on COVID-19 and mental health, food security challenges during the pandemic, supporting children while schools are closed, and more.

    Apr 3, 2020

  • Man at home working on a computer, photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Should the Federal Workforce Stay Remote? Planning for After the Crisis

    As physical distancing becomes the new norm, so too does telework. But should federal agencies maintain their remote operations for the long haul? As those of us involved with national security agencies, operations, and workforce issues know, this is not a decision to make lightly.

    Apr 3, 2020

  • Children pick up lunch at the Olympic Hills Elementary School, after schools were closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, in Seattle, Washington, March 17, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Commentary

    Food Access: Challenges and Solutions Brought on by COVID-19

    For the 14.3 million American households already experiencing food insecurity before the pandemic, shutdowns and restrictions have created new layers of hardship. Tremendous efforts are already underway to help. But the weeks to come will surely demand more creative solutions from the public and private sectors.

    Mar 31, 2020

  • Cyber warfare specialists engage in weekend training at Warfield Air National Guard Base in Middle River, Maryland, June 3, 2017, photo by J.M. Eddins Jr./U.S. Air Force

    Report

    The Defense Industrial Base Needs a Cyber Protection Program

    The unclassified networks of defense industrial base firms have become a target for adversaries seeking to steal sensitive data, trade secrets, and intellectual property. How can the U.S. Department of Defense better secure these networks?

    Mar 30, 2020

  • Scientist taking water samples, photo by Smederevac/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Want to Know If a New Drug Crisis Is Growing? Check the Wastewater

    Few people foresaw how quickly fentanyl would displace heroin, doubling or tripling opioid overdose deaths in some pockets of the United States from 2013 to 2017. But we could have been warned—if only we'd checked our wastewater.

    Mar 26, 2020

  • Report

    Measuring Cybersecurity and Cyber Resiliency

    This report presents a framework for the development of metrics -- and a method for scoring them -- that indicates how well a U.S. Air Force mission or system is expected to perform in a cyber-contested environment.

    Mar 26, 2020

  • Blog

    Experts Discuss COVID-19: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on COVID-19, how the United States is responding to the coronavirus outbreak, the spread of misinformation during this time, and more.

    Mar 20, 2020

  • Report

    U.S. Coast Guard Emergency Response and Disaster Operations: Using Social Media for Situational Awareness

    Researchers are helping the U.S. Department of Homeland Security understand whether and how social media might be better leveraged for situational awareness in U.S. Coast Guard response operations.

    Mar 17, 2020

  • Research Brief

    How the U.S. Coast Guard Can Leverage Social Media and Enhanced Cell Phone Data to Improve Emergency Response

    A growing proportion of maritime distress calls to the U.S. Coast Guard comes indirectly through social media, 911, or cell phones. Better understanding of the social media and cell phone environments could help inform future Department of Homeland Security policy on using these media in response operations.

    Mar 17, 2020

  • Mother on a video call with doctor with sick teenage son, photo by Courtney Hale/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Coronavirus, Telemedicine, and Dustbusters

    Telemedicine has been with us for decades. And yet it hasn't transformed health care in the way that ATMs have transformed banking or cordless vacuums have transformed household cleaning. But the coronavirus pandemic could forever change how telemedicine is used.

    Mar 16, 2020

  • Report

    Small Unmanned Aerial System Adversary Capabilities

    It is difficult to detect, identify, classify, and—consequently—counter nefarious small unmanned aerial systems (sUASs), particularly in urban areas. As the U.S. Department of Homeland Security prepares for this potential threat, it will need to know the types of threat scenarios in which these systems could be used, which design elements are likely to be exploited by a nefarious actor, and which technologies and capabilities may be available in the near future.

    Mar 12, 2020