4 May 2007 A real-time tracking system for monitoring shipments of hazardous materials
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Abstract
Due to the ever increasing use of radioactive materials in day to day living from the treatment of cancer patients and irradiation of food for preservation to industrial radiography to check for defects in the welding of pipelines and buildings there is a growing concern over the tracking and monitoring of these sources in transit prior to use as well as the waste produced by such use. The prevention of lost sealed sources is important in reducing the environmental and health risk posed by direct exposure, co-mingling in the metal recycling stream, use in contaminated consumer products, and use in terrorist activities. Northwest Nuclear, LLC (NWN) and the Applied Physics Institute (API) at Western Kentucky University have developed a tracking technology using active radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. This system provides location information by measuring the time of arrival of packets from a set of RFID tags to a set of location receivers. The system can track and graphically display the location on maps, drawings or photographs of tagged items on any 802.11- compliant device (PDAs, laptops, computers, WiFi telephones) situated both outside and inside structures. This location information would be vital for tracking the location of high level radiological sources while in transit. RFID technology would reduce the number of lost sources by tracking them from origination to destination. Special tags which indicate tampering or sudden movement have also been developed.
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Phillip Womble, Jon Paschal, Lindsay Hopper, Dudley Pinson, Frederick Schultz, Melinda Whitfield Humphrey, "A real-time tracking system for monitoring shipments of hazardous materials", Proc. SPIE 6538, Sensors, and Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C3I) Technologies for Homeland Security and Homeland Defense VI, 65380D (4 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.719941; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.719941
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