• Rapiscan to develop advanced nuke detection tech for DHS

    DHS’ Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) recently awarded Rapiscan Systems a contract worth as much as $7 million to develop advanced new technologies to address the nation’s most pressing challenges in detecting nuclear materials

  • Innovative surveillance solutions recognized

    MicroObserver Unattended Ground Sensor from Textron Defense Systems was recognized as one of the 2011 Big 25 intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) products; the solution detects and tracks vehicles and personnel for perimeter defense, border security, force protection, persistent surveillance, and critical infrastructure protection

  • Teaching sensors to think for themselves

    There is a major problem with sensors: data overload; as sensors gather more and more information, it has become increasingly difficult for human users to separate out what is relevant from what is not; two U Vermont researchers received a grant from DARPA to teach sensors what to look for — and what not to look for

  • FutureSentry, Sun Surveillance offer solar-powered intrusion detection

    Two companies join forces to offer solar-powered automated intrusion detection systems for areas with limited power; the solution enables a cost-effective deployment as there is no need to trench and pull video cable and power, saving on both installation cost and time

  • U.K. lab helps company improve its infrastructure monitoring sensors

    London-based Senceive produces sensors used in long-term infrastructure monitoring; the company’s meshed systems of wireless sensors are used to assess the condition of railway structures, track, bridges, culturally significant buildings, and even historical artifacts; the company needed the help of the U.K. National Physical Laboratory to improve the tilt sensing system it manufactures, and verify its accuracy, precision, and limits

  • Remote bomb detection sensors

    European scientists are embarking on a project to develop a network of state-of-the-art sensors capable of detecting hidden explosives; the sensors will work by detecting the chemical traces of explosive vapors in the air in order to provide early warning to security services and protect vulnerable urban populations from the threat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), often used by terrorist organizations

  • Global nuclear bomb sensors used to track Japan's radiation

    A worldwide network of radiation sensors originally built to detect nuclear weapon tests is now being used by scientists to track radiation leaked from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant; over 280 sensors were installed to detect radiation from nuclear weapons testing; the sensors have detected several radioactive elements that are the byproducts of nuclear fission like iodine-131 and cesium-137 from Japan; experts studying the data disagree on the effect and size of the release, but assure the public that the effects are minimal as much of the radiation is being scattered across the Pacific

  • Washington nuclear sensors capable of detecting faintest amounts of radiation

    The radiation detectors developed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Washington are so sensitive that they can detect trace amounts of radioactive material from hundreds of thousands of miles away; far from being a public health concern, the amount of radiation from Japan detected on the west coast of the United States was far less than what individuals receive from natural sources and is testament to the sensors extraordinary sensitivity; officials say that the PNNL’s sensors are a hundred times more sensitive than other radiation sensors; the PNNL facility is capable of picking up the faintest amounts of radioactive elements produced by nuclear reactions from the vast amounts of air particles in the world

  • San Francisco to regulate private biological agent detectors

    Some firms have begun selling building owners and companies untested devices designed to detect anthrax and other biological agents, but city officials are worried that these will generate false alarms; in San Francisco city officials estimate that responding to a false alarm generated by a biological agent detector could cost as much as $700,000; legislation has been introduced to regulate these devices; the bill would require those who have biological agent detectors to pay an annual fee and owners would also be fined as much as $10,000 for false alarms; if passed, owners would have ninety days to register with the city

  • New .gov threat detection software nearing completion

    DHS is currently in the final stages of implementing Einstein 2, its new cybersecurity threat detection system, across all federal networks; Einstein 2 is designed to provide the government with intrusion detection tools on its networks; installation is expected to be completed this year; DHS is also in the midst of testing Einstein 3 and hopes to begin installation of that system within the year; the Einstein system is part of a total suite of technological solutions designed to secure the .gov domain from cyber threats; these tools are being developed in conjunction with the Department of Defense

  • New smell sensor uses genetically engineered frog eggs

    Researchers use genetically engineered frog cells to develop a sensor that detects gasses; the researchers embedded the sensor into a mannequin, so that it could shake its head when a gas was detected, making it easier to observe

  • DHS seeking unattended sensors technology for border surveillance

    DHS is seeking information from companies who can build unattended ground sensors that can detect and locate people, boats, or vehicles moving along rivers, roads, and paths in dense forests; DHS says it needs this capability for border surveillance to monitor those entering the United States illegally in rough terrain

  • TSA will miss 1 August air cargo screening deadline

    TSA will miss the congressionally mandated 1 August deadline of having 100 percent of cargo carried on planes screened; all cargo loaded onto passenger planes departing from domestic airports will be checked for explosives by the deadline, but screening all international cargo entering the United States has proved more challenging; the reason: an estimated 2.8 billion pounds of air cargo arrives in the United States every year on passenger aircraft from 94 different countries; the cargo is handled in the global air cargo supply chain by a vast number of participants; each of these 94 countries has unique air cargo security programs and regulatory requirements, many of which differ significantly from those required by TSA

  • Detecting sweaty, smelly security threats

    DARPA wants to be able to detect, track, and even positively identify them from a distance — and do so using nothing more than the heat and sweat that emanate from a person’s pores; DARPA envisions myriad civilian applications for the technology, including “identifying and tracking persons from the scenes of various crimes”

  • Camgian awarded DARPA UAV-UGS fusion contract

    Today’s soldiers rely on advanced ground and airborne sensors to identify, track, and monitor critical targets; as stand-along platforms, UAVs and unattended ground sensors (UGS) have operational limitations such as endurance, coverage, and target resolution; Camgian is teaming up with BAE Systems to exploit the fusion of these assets in an automated network architecture to provide powerful ISR capability