Using Technology to Thwart Terrorism

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Adam's Apple, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Apr 25, 2004
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    Some time ago I read an article on the internet about research being done to explode roadside bombs before they kill people, one of which was the development of small robots wired to detect explosives that would travel roads ahead of convoys to set off any planted bombs. If anyone else on the board read this article, would you let me know where I can find it again? Thanks.

    Future Technology Could Help Thwart Terrorism
    By Ron Wurzer / AP
    July 12, 2005

    Within hours of the London bombings, a renewed call went up for the United States to use its considerable technology heft to prevent similar attacks on the nation's transit system. Sensing opportunity, some technology companies aggressively advertised their potential to create gadgets to detect bombs and chemical and biological weapons.

    But ideas such as smoke-detector-like devices sounding an alarm when a bomb-porting terrorist enters a train station are years and billions of dollars from fruition -- if ever. The best current defenses for the country's subways, buses and trains, security experts say, remain decidedly low tech: human vigilance and bomb-sniffing dogs.

    The very nature of mass transportation makes it impossible to install metal detectors and take the other security measures that aim to protect the flying public. "You can not just take the applications that are used in airport and plunk them into the transit system," said Gregory Hull, director of safety and security programs for the American Public Transportation Association. "But some could be modified."

    The industry has spent $2 billion since Sept. 11, 2001, training its security personnel to be on the lookout for abandoned packages and suspicious passengers, Hull said. Nonetheless, the system needs about $5 billion in radio communications improvements, and the industry is also keen to deploy more cameras to surveil tunnels and stations, he said.

    Another promising technology under development is software that would direct cameras to immediately flag suspicious scenes at stations such as abandoned packages or passengers dressed for winter during summer.

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