Dense Object Detection System and Method

Reference#: P02000

Several million cargo containers arrive into the U.S. every year bringing a large variety of goods into the country. Recent concerns over the possibility of radioactive materials used in the making of a "dirty bomb" being smuggled into the country by terrorists has heightened the need for screening cargo containers. Nuclear detectors are typically used to sense for possible radiological material inside a cargo container. However, if the radiological material is well shielded by lead or other radiologically dense material, the nuclear detector may not detect the contraband. The proposed device will sense the anomalous dense material in a cargo or other container and screen the container for possible further investigation via X-ray analysis.

The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory has developed a concept and is in the process of patenting a technology for placing the cargo container under study on a platform, where mounted is a two dimensional array of weight sensing devices such as strain gauges and a two dimensional array of mass sensing devices such as gravity meters to detect a potential mass abnormality. The historical weight and mass distribution is compared to the actual weight and mass distribution measured by the sensor arrays to detect discrepancies which will identify the tested cargo container as suspect and in need for further investigation.

Patent Status: U.S. patent(s) 7,079,976 issued.

Dr. G. R. Jacobovitz
Phone: (443) 778-9899

Additional References:

Link to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office