17 February 1997 Application of the smart portal in transportation
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Abstract
Under a program sponsored by the Department of Energy, the Oak Ridge complex is developing a `Portal-of-the-Future', or `smart portal.' This is a security portal for vehicular traffic which is intended to quickly detect explosives, hidden passengers, etc. It uses several technologies, including microwaves, weigh-in-motion, digital image processing, and electroacoustic wavelet-based heartbeat detection. A novel component of particular interest is the Enclosed Space Detection System (ESDS), which detects the presence of persons hiding in a vehicle. The system operates by detecting the presence of a human ballistocardiographic signature. Each time the heart beats, it generates a small but measurable shock wave that propagates through the body. The wave, whose graph is called a ballistocardiogram, is the mechanical analog of the electrocardiograms, which is routinely used for medical diagnosis. The wave is, in turn, coupled to any surface or object with which the body is in contact. If the body is located in an enclosed space, this will result in a measurable deflection of the surface of the enclosure. Independent testing has shown ESDS to be highly reliable. The technologies used in the smart portal operate in real time and allow vehicles to be checked through the portal in much less time than would be required for human inspection. Although not originally developed for commercial transportation, the smart portal has the potential to solve several transportation problems. It could relieve congestion at international highway border crossings by reducing the time required to inspect each vehicle while increasing the level of security. It can reduce highway congestion at the entrance of secure facilities such as prisons. Also, it could provide security at intermodal transfer points, such as airport parking lots and car ferry terminals.
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Stephen W. Kercel, Vivian M. Baylor, William B. Dress, Tim W. Hickerson, William Bruce Jatko, Leo E. Labaj, Jeffrey D. Muhs, Richard M. Pack, "Application of the smart portal in transportation", Proc. SPIE 2902, Transportation Sensors and Controls: Collision Avoidance, Traffic Management, and ITS, (17 February 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.267149; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.267149
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