Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Philadelphia Bulletin: Underground Sensor tohelp Israel Fight Terrorists

by David Bedein

Jerusalem - The communal nightmare of the kibbutz and moshav agricultural villages near Gaza is that bands of terrorists will dig under their communities and conduct surprise infiltrations from underground.

To cope with that deadly scenario, Israel has developed an underground sensor designed to detect tunnel construction and operation.

Israel’s Spider Technologies Security has produced and delivered sensors designed to detect and track underground activity. Executives said the Israeli military as well as the U.S. government have been testing the system for underground and above-ground use.

“The most recent tests in the U.S. involve tunneling detection,” SpiderTech marketing director Elkana Pressler said. “The demonstrations have shown that the SpiderTech sensor can accurately identify underground activity even with intense surface noise, like car and truck traffic.”

SpiderTech, based in Lod, near Israel’s International Ben Gurion Airport, was also commencing field trials of its sensor network in Europe and South America.

One of the sensor systems, Tarantula, was said to comprise a network of SpiderTech’s proprietary seismic sensors based on novel seismic measurement components along with signal specially designed processing technology that could detect and classify the approach of people above ground as well as underground activity. The network horizontal architecture allows coverage of tens of kilometers over regular PC base control station.

In prototype testing, Tarantula, said to have a false alarm rate of below 10 percent, detected people at a distance of 20 feet and light vehicles at 80 feet.

The ranges of the cylindrical three-dimensional sensor -- each measuring 120 inches high x 80 inches in diameter and with a target positioning accuracy of up to five meters -- were about twice that of existing sensor technology systems.

“Since the system is designed as a multi-layer decision maker, the sensors have a very low rate of false alarms, thus, being extremely difficult to bypass and enhance any existing perimeter security solution,” SpiderTech said on Sept. 29.

SpiderTech has signed a collaboration agreement with Israel’s Rada Electronic Industries for the producing and marketing of Tarantula - an effort that could result in contracts in 2010. Executives said Rada would focus on Western governments and militaries, particularly the United States. The system, which does not require a line of sight with targets, is within an on-going feasibility classified program by the U.S. Homeland Security and defense parties.

“We are currently focused on the high-end government market segment where our solution is urgently needed,” Pressler said. “We also intend to expand our offering and introduce a commercial product line, tailored for mini sites, portable stand alone solutions, home and residential protection.”

View the original article in the Philadelphia Bulletin

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