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!
Laser sensor LAH-G1 - optical distance sensors with measurement value display
15.08.2017 | WayCon Positionsmesstechnik GmbH
Engineers find better way to detect nanoparticles
14.08.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy