Transportation systems are very vulnerable to terrorist threats. The tragic attacks in Madrid, London, and Mumbai brought the horror of this vulnerability home. The early detection of explosives and other weapons in rail transit systems has the potential to save lives by alerting security personnel to the presence of such threats. With this information, transit control centers and law enforcement authorities could detect and apprehend a potential terrorist bomber. Lives could be saved and damage to the rail transit system could be avoided, ensuring the continuing operation of the system.
This project was to develop and test a small-size, low-cost, extremely low-power, safe for humans radio locator (radar), called KIED, with detection capability for identification of explosives and weapons [such as improvised explosive devices (IEDs)] in transit systems. The KIED system was developed and incorporated into a San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station in a non-revenue environment for testing. Intensive laboratory tests were performed to analyze the prototype “sensor return” to detect explosive compounds, components, and liquids of a typical IED.
The IED detection devices tested in this project would be deployed in transit stations. The KIED detection system is unobtrusive and unseen in the rail transit system. The detection device is very small and can work through barriers, lending itself to very simple infrastructure integration. This approach does not require any changes to the currently utilized infrastructure.