Addressable Metal Detector Array and Method for Crowd Screening

Reference#: P02274

There exists a need for metal detection systems for screening people for metal weapons such as guns and knives. Conventional metal detectors require people to walk through a small portal that has an electromagnetic induction (EMI) metal detector. Typically, only one person can walk through a metal detector at a time. This creates a "choke" point and a line typically forms. For large sporting events, subways and anywhere that large crowds gather and must be screened, the use of portable type metal detectors create problems.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory have developed and are in the process of patenting an Addressable Metal Detector (AMD) Array for screening crowds for metal in an area where people gather such as airports, train stations or subways. This technology provides for wide-area metal detection screening and can be used to locate potential people in a crowd that should be investigated further. This pre-screening would greatly reduce the need for everyone to be "scanned" for potential weapons with a high sensitivity portal-type metal detector or a handheld metal detector.

The AMD Array consists of:

* A number of conventional metal detectors (frequency and time domain) located under the floor;
* An electronic control system that can individually address one of the metal detectors in the array, and;
* A surveillance camera

A surveillance camera security operator sees a suspicious person with a package in the control area. The security officer can activate the metal detector closest to the suspicious person to see if the person has an abnormal metal signature that may indicate the presence of a metal weapon or explosive device. If the metal signature level is high or has a metal spectral signature that is suspicious, the camera security operator can send a picture and location of the suspicious person via a wireless link to a device of another security person in the are to take appropriate action.

Ms. H. L. Curran
Phone: (443) 778-7262