Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sandia researchers develop better sensor detection system

06.12.2006
System combines basic off-the-shelf sensors with Sandia-developed sensor

By integrating readily available generic sensors with a more sophisticated sensor, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed a detection system that promises to make it easier to catch perpetrators trying to infiltrate prohibited areas.

The research team, headed by project investigator Hung Nguyen, spent the last four months of FY06 figuring out how small, low-cost, low-power, commercially available sensors can supplement their in-house customized sensors developed between 2002 and 2005. During that time, numerous projects - Target Acquisition, Location, Observation, and Neutralization (TALON), Hard and Deeply Buried Target Grand Challenge (HDBT), Sensor Dart, and Virtual Perimeter System (VPS) - contributed to the advancement of unattended ground sensor (UGS) technology.

As a result, Sandia has solidified a sensor system complete with onboard GPS, compass, local and long haul radios, digital signal processor, and video capabilities. However, it is significantly larger than the off-the-shelf sensors and is not currently available for mass production.

"We wanted inexpensive sensors to act as a first line of defense identifying potential targets and then through a series of radio signals wake up the UGS package. The Sandia-developed UGS package could then use advanced pattern-recognition techniques to classify four-legged animals, two-legged humans, or civilian and military vehicles," says Nguyen. "The significance of this is that by combining commercial sensors with our UGS, we can cover more ground for less."

The integration of the more powerful sensor and the smaller ones will increase detection range, lower false alarms, and increase the area of coverage per dollar spent in complex terrains.

The $75,000 in funding for the off-the-shelf sensor work came through Sandia's internal Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program. It was "late start" money awarded near the end of the fiscal year to help solve a specific problem.

Sandia is a National Nuclear Security Administration laboratory.

The commercial sensors, provided by Crossbow Technology Inc, were modified with Sandia algorithms and some minor hardware changes. They can be powered by either a battery or solar panel, depending on customer needs. The sensor uses a geophone equipped with a four-inch pointed spike planted in the ground to detect movement by measuring seismic waves. To complete the situational awareness package researcher Isaac Toledo describes how the system is both "an elegant and seamless network configuration capable of self-configuring and self-healing." Any events detected are reported back to the UGS via this network.

"Our customized unattended ground sensors work extremely well for monitoring various situations but for wide areas can be very costly," says Mark Ladd, manager of Sandia's Embedded Sensor System Department. "Using the commercial sensors in combination with a handful of our UGS devices is a viable alternate solution."

Researcher Jonathan Van Houten says one potential application of the sensor system would be to strategically place off-the-shelf sensors at out-of-sight locations around a secure facility. The Sandia UGS would be placed nearby and video-linked to a security station monitored by guards.

"You could put them in arroyos or other places guards can't immediately see," Jeremy Giron, another researcher working on the project, says. "If an intruder shows up, the commercial sensors can send a signal to the Sandia UGS, which in turn performs more analysis and notifies the guard via Google Earth."

Now that the initial integration of commercial sensors with custom UGS has been demonstrated, Ladd is quick to point out that the next logical step is to seek out customers interested in both advancing and deploying this architecture. These sensors will also become part of Sandia's intrusion detection work.

"We are eager to propel this system to the next level and meet a need that we know is out there," Ladd says. "Eventually the technology would be transferred to a manufacturer."

Chris Burroughs | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sandia.gov

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Failures in power grids: Dynamically induced cascades
25.05.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht Beyond the limits of conventional electronics: stable organic molecular nanowires
24.05.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>