UWB-Based System Detects Concealed Weapons

Over the last year, the sometimes intensive searches conducted at airport security checks have come under fire. In addition to privacy concerns, performing such searches by hand is error-prone and costly in terms of staffing and time. A potential alternative is the Viper60-a from TiaLinx. This lightweight sensor system with polarized arrays provides an ultrawideband (UWB) fine beam that can detect a variety of objects concealed by clothing (see figure). According to the company, it is analogous to x-ray tomography. Yet it uses harmless low-power electromagnetic (EM) waves to provide images at various depths from objects that can be identified as possible weapons, using technology similar to radar systems. The system is ideal for rapid screening of individuals in a queue at a standoff.

The V-band RF scanner transmits wideband signals that are highly directional. Those signals are reflected from the body while it penetrates the clothing. In the receiver, polarization-sensitive signaldetection circuits capture the reflections from targets. Amplitude, phase, and delay information are then processed in an integrated digital signal processor (DSP).

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