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Using Wi-Fi to detect dangerous concealed objects
15 August 2018, Electronics Technology

American university researchers have come up with a way of using Wi-Fi signals to detect weapons, bombs and explosive chemicals concealed in bags, backpacks or other luggage. The collaborative, peer-reviewed study between Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and Binghamton University, received a best paper award at the 2018 IEEE Conference on Communications and Network Security.

The low-cost suspicious object detection system requires a Wi-Fi device with two to three antennas and can be integrated into existing Wi-Fi networks present in many public spaces. The system analyses what happens when wireless signals penetrate and bounce off objects and materials.

The wireless signals can penetrate bags to get the dimensions of dangerous metal objects and identify them, including weapons, aluminium cans, laptops and batteries for bombs. It can also be used to estimate the volume of liquids such as water, acid, alcohol and other chemicals for explosives, according to the researchers.

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


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