North Billerica, MA – August 12, 2015 — The scenario is a large public venue. Thousands of people enter—most with the intention of participating peacefully. The danger is that a large public venue is a perfect target for a terrorist to plant a dirty bomb and wreak havoc, as we learned all too well at the Boston Marathon intentional bombing in April 2013. Security officials have fixed detectors that will alarm if a threat passes, but if the threat were to disappear into the throng, it is exponentially more difficult to locate the source.
To address a known gap in radiation detection monitoring at a large-scale public venue, the Central New Hampshire Hazmat Team recently tested Passport Systems’ SmartShield Radiation Detection System at the New Hampshire 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. Security officials circulated the crowd armed with the mobile detectors to evaluate the networked radiation detection system which has the capability to locate, identify and track a source of radiation—even it if it is moving. In turn, the Central NH Hazmat Team provided Passport Systems with valuable feedback for the continued improvement of the system.
“We were pleased to have the Central NH Hazmat Team test drive SmartShield,” said Dr. Robert Ledoux, President, CEO and Director of Passport Systems, Inc. “We are confident we have overcome significant technological hurdles to offer a mobile radiation detection system that provides the accurate, timely information needed to allow responders to take fast, decisive pre-emptive action against threats to prevent radiological terrorism.”
The SmartShield system grew out of a vision that a system of networked radiation detectors could outperform independent detectors. SmartShield mobile detectors not only connect to a server, they share data with each other. Multiple detectors acting, in essence, as one device (via advanced algorithms) means greater sensitivity to differentiate threats from background radiation—and accurately locate the source—in real time. Reliable identification and communication over a network, in turn, leads to rapid response time—a win for first responders, hazmat professionals, commanders, and the citizens relying on their protection.
“Incorporating Passport Systems’ radiation monitors into the CBRNE detection package at this venue proved invaluable in addressing a known capability gap in the JHAT’s [Joint Hazmat Assessment Teams] coverage. I feel more confident that we will be able to fulfill our important missions of public protection with a technology such that Passport System provides us,” said Bill Weinhold, Chief Central New Hampshire Hazmat Team.
About Passport Systems: Passport Systems was founded to develop and commercialize new technologies to address the threats facing the world in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Started by a team of MIT technologists and entrepreneurs, the company has developed two families of products: The SmartScan™ 3D Automated Cargo Inspection System, based on nuclear resonance fluorescence technology (“NRF”), and the SmartShield™ Radiation Detection System.