The health and safety of individuals placed at risk often depends on the ability to assess situations quickly and accurately. For example, hostage and terrorism situations require knowledge of building interiors and the location and identification of individuals. Fire fighters need methods to determine whether or not burning buildings are occupied. Search and rescue teams must be able to locate hidden survivors in debris or other materials.
In all of these cases and many others, it is vital that users be able to carry out this assessment remotely so as to avoid endangering more people. Many dangerous situations also require that assessment be done discretely so as to not alert criminals to the intentions of law enforcement personnel.
Active (radar) millimeter wave imaging systems are able to "see through" most wall materials, providing the technology of choice for developing situation assessment systems. Such systems extend the ability of users to view activities from one or two rooms away, or from the outside of a building into its interior. Using this technology, hostage, terrorism, demolition, and other unlawful and dangerous situations can be assessed remotely and evaluated for action.
Millimeter wave radar imaging systems can be made extremely sensitive to movement, even to the level of detecting heartbeats. This makes them ideally suited for search and rescue and other applications where individuals may be alive, but unable to respond to rescuers. And active millimeter wave systems use low radiation levels incapable of penetrating human skin making them completely safe for operators and other individuals in the scene.
Much of the technology developed for passive millimeter wave imaging can find application in active millimeter wave radar systems. Millivision's development plans include leveraging our proprietary focal plane array technology to meet the additional demands of the security market for active systems. To learn how Millivision can help you meet your situation assessment needs, contact us.
Concealed Weapon Detection
The possible danger posed by the presence of concealed weapons is felt in many areas of our society. From airports and courthouses to schools and amusements parks, we are now confronted with the need to search individuals for concealed weapons to ensure public safety. Such searches must be efficient, accurate, and involve minimal inconvenience for the individuals being searched.
Traditional searches for concealed weapons are limited by many factors. Metal detectors, the current choice for many applications, are limited to detecting metal objects, allowing dangerous items such as non-metal guns, ceramic knives, and plastic explosives to go undetected. The high rate of false alarms and the lack of location information also limit the effectiveness of metal detectors for this purpose.
In addition to valuing our collective safety, our society also values individual liberties. Thus, although frisking might provide an effective search technique, it is unacceptable in terms of invasion of privacy in many situations. X-rays can provide an effective search of luggage and other items, but perceived health risks make them unacceptable for searching for weapons concealed on a person.
Passive millimeter waves sensors, combined with advanced imaging software, are ideally suited to the task of concealed weapons detection. Able to "see through" most clothing materials, such sensors also provide shape and location information to aid in determining whether a detected item poses a threat. By using only the natural existing emissions in the scene, passive systems guarantee safe and non-invasive operation with as much discretion as the situation requires.
Millivision brings together decades of experience in developing state-of-the-art millimeter wave sensors and advanced imaging software applications to provide the next generation of concealed weapons detection systems. To see how Millivision can help you meet your security needs, explore our products in development listed below or contact us.
Millivision's Handheld Scanner will be a portable device, similar to a "radar gun," used to scan individuals for concealed weapons or other contraband. The Handheld Scanner can supplement existing walk-through metal detectors, or be used alone in security situations where its portability and small size make it more convenient than a fixed device. It is designed to be especially useful in situations that may require an impromptu search, such as in military and civilian policing activities.
Like Millivision's other passive millimeter wave products in development, the Handheld Scanner relies solely on the existing natural millimeter wave emissions from subjects and objects in the scene. By not exposing the subject, operator, or any bystander to any man-made radiation, complete safety is ensured. Using millimeter wave imaging techniques allows the device to detect metallic and non-metallic weapons, plastic explosives, drugs, and a wide variety of other contraband.
The Handheld Scanner will be a manually operated, self-contained, battery-powered device consisting of a sensor mounted in a housed assembly with a pistol grip and LCD display mounted on the rear of the unit. Planned options include a boresighted visual TV camera to provide visible light images, which can be used for visualization and to protect subject privacy. Scanned over a subject, in much the same manner as a flashlight is scanned over a large object, the Handheld Scanner will generate a sequence of sub-images of the subject. Integrated imaging software then constructs complete images from this sequence of sub-images, identifies suspect objects in the image, and highlights these objects in the display.
The Handheld Scanner is in development with emphasis on refining the small, lightweight, robust components required for successful field application while maintaining reasonable per-unit cost. Contact Millivision for additional product details or for information on partnering with Millivision to create products to meet your security and safety needs.
Millivision's Gateway Scanner will check for concealed weapons and other contraband hidden under the clothing of people entering sensitive areas through well-defined portals. The Gateway Scanner will use the naturally occurring millimeter wave emissions from the objects in the scene to detect metallic and non-metallic weapons, plastic explosives, drugs, and other contraband hidden under multiple layers of clothing without the necessity of a direct physical search. This passive image formation technique uses no man-made radiation, ensuring complete safety for operators, subjects, and bystanders.
Civilian applications include security at airports, courtrooms, correctional facilities, government and commercial office buildings, schools, banks and other financial institutions, high-value manufacturing plants, and other areas where metal detectors are in use today. Military applications include, in addition, the protection of secure facilities and the screening of civilians for concealed weapons and explosives at border crossings and security checkpoints.
The Gateway Scanner will use a multiple-line millimeter wave sensor capable of producing moderately high resolution line-scanned images. The software component of the system will compose these lines into a complete, calibrated image, perform object-detection, and optionally alert operators to the potential existence of concealed items. This imaging software will also be used to correct for small movements by the subject, enhance image quality, and help preserve privacy, making it an essential component of the system.
Contact Millivision for additional product details or for information on partnering with Millivision to create products to meet your security and safety needs.
Whether screening airplane passengers, monitoring secure areas, or establishing the presence and locations of concealed people and items, a wide variety of security and safety applications share many of the same concerns. Ideally, these systems must be able to
· detect different kinds of objects (not just metal or specific gases)
· provide information on the identity and location of concealed items
· distinquish people from other scene objects
Security and safety systems must also be difficult to countermeasure and acceptable to operators, subjects, and bystanders in terms of safety, privacy, and convenience.
Products in Development
Millimeter wave technology offers the opportunity for developing a new generation of security and safety products. Millimeter waves can pass through walls, clothing, and packaging to detect hidden people and objects. Not limited to metal, millimeter-wave-based systems allow the detection of ceramic weapons, plastic explosives, drugs, and other contraband. Millivision is developing a line of passive millimeter wave security products that are:
Non-invasive: Passive systems use only the natural radiation present in the scene.
Safe: Using no man-made radiation ensures complete safety for subjects, operators, and bystanders.
Difficult to countermeasure: Inanimate objects emit different radiation signatures than living beings, making attempts to disguise contraband ineffective.
Effective: Advanced imaging software overcomes resolution and visualization limitations.
The specific requirements of individual application areas demand tailored solutions. Millivision's specialized products range from units nearing production to development prototypes. We are eager to work with you to develop products to meet your security and safety needs. Contact Millivision for information on product availability or partnering with Millivision.
About Millimeter Waves
Millimeter Wave Characteristics
Millimeter waves are electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths in the range 1 cm to 1 mm (with corresponding frequencies of 30 to 300 GHz), located between the microwave and infrared portions of the spectrum. Because they are capable of "seeing through" most packaging, clothing, and many wall materials, while still providing sufficiently detailed images, millimeter waves are ideally suited for use in security and emergency applications.
Safety and User Acceptance
Millimeter waves cannot penetrate human skin, thus security systems based on millimeter wave technology are completely people safe. Human skin, however, is naturally highly emissive in this wavelength, allowing sensors to distinguish between people and other items in a scene, an important feature for many applications. These natural emissions also make it possible to create completely passive sensors that rely solely on detecting the existing radiation in a scene, further ensuring user acceptance and safety.
Millivision utilizes the unique characteristics of millimeter wave imaging to provide advanced technology and products for the security industry.