Julie Kalista
Online Editor

Data analysis from a Sandia in-house customized sensor, showing advanced pattern recognition identifying an SUV compared to a person. The large sophisticated sensor is supplemented by small, low-cost, low-power, commercially available sensors.
Sandia researchers hold a Labs-designed sophisticated sensor that interacts with smaller off-the-shelf sensors like those seen in the foreground.
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories created a detection system that combines four generic sensors with a more sophisticated, custom-built sensor. The custom sensor, with an onboard GPS, compass, local and long-haul radios, digital-signal processor, and video camera, use commercial sensors, provided by Crossbow Technology Inc., San Jose, Calif., to expand their range. The commercial sensors can be battery- or solar panel-powered, use a geophone attached to a four-inch pointed spike planted in the ground to measure seismic waves and reports any detected events to the UGS.

"We wanted inexpensive sensors to act as a first line of defense to identify potential targets and wake up the unattended ground sensor package. The package then could use advanced pattern-recognition to classify four-legged animals, two-legged humans, or civilian and military vehicles," says Hong Nguyen, head of the research team. The use of the powerful sensor with the smaller ones increases detection range, lowers false alarms, and increases the area of coverage per dollar spent in complex terrains.

More Information:
Crossbow Technology Inc.
Sandia National Lab

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