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USC Smart Fences use spatio-temporal sensor patterns to create a DRADIS for airports

Tim Stevens
01.28.11
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How do you send an automated alert to a security guard whenever anyone tries to climb a fence, but ignore anyone simply leaning on said chain link? How can a sensor pick up the presence of a Jeep but ignore a steady flow of gigantic airliners? Damned if we know, we're just bloggers, but a team at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering figured it out, creating what's called the Smart Fence. It's a series of sensors plus some associated circuitry that easily handle the situations described above and do so with amazing accuracy. How amazing? Here are the results of one test:
A perfect (100%) identification of unexpected intrusion events, and an average of less than two false positives per week and zero false negatives for recognition of human footsteps. In addition, no false positives or false negatives were reported by the installed fence sensors for a duration of 45 days of unattended operation, which included several days of seasonal storms.
Yeah, pretty good. The system is being developed for use around airports and military bases and is currently being funded largely by Navy grants. Now, if only they could create a system to prevent "laser events" and airport blizzards we might be able to travel safely again.

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