Transportation

  • DHS funds more tests of autonomous power buoy for ocean surveillance

    Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has entered into an agreement with DHS Science & Technology Directorate to perform a new round of in-ocean tests on the company’s Autonomous PowerBuoy to demonstrate its use for ocean surveillance

  • As shoe-scanning devices fail, passengers continue to remove their shoes

    In the last five years the U.S. government has tested several scanning devices for detecting explosives and other weapons concealed in the shoes of airline passengers; after spending millions of dollars on these devices, TSA has concluded that the detection systems are ineffective; the result: removing shoes at security check points is going to be a part of air travel for the foreseeable future

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  • The costs, benefits, and efficiency of aviation security measures

    The threat of terrorist attack on American aviation has made the system the focus of intense security efforts, but it is difficult to determine if the benefits outweigh their cost; efficient security policy — a focus on getting the most security for the least cost — should be the priority in an era of fiscal austerity, says a new RAND report

  • DHS using Boston subway system to test new sensors for biological agents

    Bioterrorism is nothing new, and although medicines have made the world a safer place against a myriad of old scourges both natural and manmade, it still remains all too easy today to uncork a dangerous cloud of germs; DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) has scheduled a series of tests in the Boston subways to measure the real-world performance of new sensors recently developed to detect biological agents

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  • How to act if there is a fire on a high-speed train

    Researchers have used computer models to analyze the best way to evacuate the Spanish High Speed Train (AVE) in the case of fire; the involvement of the crew in organizing the fast transfer of passengers, completing the process before the train comes to a halt, and collective collaboration to assist those with reduced mobility are just some of the strategies to be followed

  • Engineering students build U.K. first hydrogen powered locomotive

    Engineering students and staff at the University of Birmingham have designed and built a prototype hydrogen powered locomotive, the first of its kind to operate in the United Kingdom

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  • Long Beach Police Department purchases underwater inspection system for port

    The Port of Long Beach is the second busiest seaport in the United States and is a major gateway for trade with Asia, handling more than six million containers annually; to enhance port security, the City of Long Beach Police Department has purchased an Underwater Inspection System (UIS) from Cod Octopus

     

  • TSA workers accused of profiling to take mandatory class

    Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers in a Behavioral Detection Program (BDP), a program designed to spot terrorists at airports, will now have to take special training after officers at a Boston airport were accused of racially profiling passengers

  • Effective airport security without profiling

    A security expert who helped create new security protocols at Logan right after 9/11, says, “Before jumping to conclusions [about what happened at Logan] we need to ask” a few questions

  • TSA accused of racial profiling at Boston airport

    The Transportation Security Administration(TSA) has been accused of widespread racial profiling in its new initiative to flag potential terrorist threats at Logan International Airport in Boston; reports say that more than thirty federal officers involved in the Behavior Detection Program said the operation targets Black and Hispanic people as well as people of Middle Eastern descent

  • Wind farms pose risks to ultra-light aircraft

    Airfields for ultra-light aircraft are typically constructed on level ground — and so are wind farms; do wind power plants generate turbulence that could endanger lightweight planes? A simulation can compute how these power plants influence aircraft at various wind speeds and wind directions

  • Advanced explosives detector sniffs out previously undetectable amounts of TNT

    TNT and other conventional explosives are the mainstays of terrorist bombs and the anti-personnel mines that kill or injure more than 15,000 people annually in war-torn countries; in large, open-air environments, such as airports, train stations, and minefields, concentrations of these explosives can be as small as a few parts of TNT per trillion parts of air, making it impossible for conventional bomb and mine detectors to detect the explosives and save lives

  • Futuristic blended wing body aircraft passes flight test

    Boeing took another step forward in exploring a revolutionary concept — the blended wing body (BWB) — which one day could offer breakthroughs in flight; the X-48B, an unmanned research aircraft which is a scale model of a heavy-lift, subsonic vehicle that forgoes the conventional tube-and-wing airplane design in favor of a triangular aircraft that effectively merges the vehicle’s wing and body, proved during a flight test program that a BWB aircraft can be controlled as effectively as a conventional tube-and-wing aircraft during takeoffs and landings, as well as in other low-speed segments of the flight regime

  • Radiation detection equipment installed in four Mexican ports

    The Megaports Initiative is a U.S. Department of Energy program intended to enhance the ability of ports around the world to detect and interdict illicit shipments of special nuclear and other radioactive materials; Under the initiative, radiation detection gear and protocols were implemented in the Mexican ports of Manzanillo, Altamira, Lazaro Cardenas, and Veracruz, through which 92 percent of Mexico’s containerized cargo pass

  • Men in maritime disasters save themselves first --“women and children first” is a myth

    Since the sinking of the Titanic, there has been a widespread belief that the social norm of “women and children first” gives women a survival advantage over men in maritime disasters, and that captains and crew members give priority to passengers; a new study find that the Titanic disaster, in which 70 percent of the women and children on board were saved compared to 20 percent of the men, is a glaring exception to the rule; during maritime disasters, men use their relative strength to save themselves; what is more, studies of human behavior during natural disasters show the same results: in life-and-death situations, it is every man for himself