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Weapons, Bombs Easily Detected by Wi-Fi: Study

The study was performed at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. It also received the best paper award at the 2018 IEEE Conference.

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Wi-Fi can now detect weapons and bombs. Flickr
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Interestingly, ordinary Wi-Fi can easily identify weapons, bombs and explosive chemicals in bags just anywhere, be it a crowded stadium, or museums, theme parks, schools and other public spaces, a new study reveals.

The researchers’ suspicious detection object is easy to set up, reduces security screening costs and avoids invading privacy such as when screeners open and inspect bags, backpacks and luggage. Traditional screening generally requires high staffing levels and costlier specialized equipment.

“This could have a great impact in protecting the public from dangerous objects. There’s a growing need for that now”, said study author, Yingying Chen.

Wi-Fi, or wireless, signals in most public places can penetrate bags, Pixabay
Wi-Fi, or wireless, signals in most public places can penetrate bags, Pixabay

The study reveals that Wi-Fi, or wireless, signals in most public places can penetrate bags to get the dimensions of dangerous metal objects and detect them, including weapons, aluminium cans, laptops and batteries for bombs. Wi-Fi can also be used to estimate the volume of liquids such as water, acid, alcohol and other chemicals for explosives.

This low-cost system requires a Wi-Fi device with two to three antennas and can be integrated into existing Wi-Fi networks. The system analyzes what happens when wireless signals penetrate and bounce off objects and materials.

Experiments were done with 15 types of objects and six types of bags demonstrating detection accuracy rates of 99 percent for dangerous objects, 98 percent for metal and 95 percent for liquid. For typical backpacks, the accuracy rate exceeds 95 percent and drops to about 90 percent when objects inside bags are wrapped.

Wifi, Weapons
“We wanted to develop a complementary method to try to reduce manpower,” concluded Chen. VOA

“In large public areas, it’s hard to set up expensive screening infrastructure like what’s in airports. Manpower is always needed to check bags and we wanted to develop a complementary method to try to reduce manpower,” concluded Chen.

Also Read: The Japanese Bombings and American Falsification

Next steps include trying to boost accuracy in detecting objects by imaging their shapes and estimating liquid volumes.

The study was performed at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. It also received the best paper award at the 2018 IEEE Conference on Communications and Network Security on cybersecurity. (IANS)

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NATO Advances Its Weaponry And Technology

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said increasing military spending by NATO members would help tackle some of the challenges.

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A general view of USS Mount Whitney of the US Navy at sunrise as it approaches the port during the NATO-led military exercise Trident Juncture, Nov. 3, in Trondheim, Norway. VOA

NATO is developing new high-tech tools, such as the ability to 3-D-print parts for weapons and deliver them by drone, as it scrambles to retain a competitive edge over Russia, China and other would-be battlefield adversaries.

Gen. Andre Lanata, who took over as head of the NATO transformation command in September, told a conference in Berlin that his command demonstrated over 21 “disruptive” projects during military exercises in Norway this month.

He urged startups as well as traditional arms manufacturers to work with the Atlantic alliance to boost innovation, as rapid and easy access to emerging technologies was helping adversaries narrow NATO’s long-standing advantage.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May arrives for the NATO summit in Brussels, May 25, 2017.Source-VOA

Lanata’s command hosted its third “innovation challenge” in tandem with the conference this week, where 10 startups and smaller firms presented ideas for defeating swarms of drones on the ground and in the air.

Winner from Belgium

Belgian firm ALX Systems, which builds civilian surveillance drones, won this year’s challenge.

Its CEO, Geoffrey Mormal, said small companies like his often struggled with cumbersome weapons procurement processes.

“It’s a very hot topic, so perhaps it will help to enable quicker decisions,” he told Reuters.

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A Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) weapon is prepared for testing at the Eglin Air Force Armament Center on March 11, 2003. VOA

Lanata said NATO was focused on areas such as artificial intelligence, connectivity, quantum computing, big data and hypervelocity, but also wants to learn from DHL and others how to improve the logistics of moving weapons and troops.

Also Read: Weapons, Bombs Easily Detected by Wi-Fi: Study

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said increasing military spending by NATO members would help tackle some of the challenges, but efforts were also needed to reduce widespread duplication and fragmentation in the European defense sector.

Participants also met behind closed doors with chief executives from 12 of the 15 biggest arms makers in Europe. (VOA)