Handheld Device Detects Human Worn IEDs (Suicide Bombs) and Concealed Firearms

October 30, 2013

Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) technologists announced the completion of a revolutionary device that simplifies the remote detection of concealed threats, such as person borne IED (Suicide Bombs) and concealed firearms. Unlike airport scanners, or X-ray based systems, this device does not produce an image of the subject; instead, it works by analyzing radar signals reflected from the person and provides a near instantaneous indication of a threat. An inbuilt computer determines the presence of dangerous objects or material and alerts the operator within a second of detection. The artificial intelligence within the device differentiates between common typical items such as keys, belt buckles, mobile telephones etc., from those that present an immediate threat to security and safety. Because the MMU developed system does not form or capture an image of any part of the target subject's body, privacy concerns associated with airport body-scanners are eliminated. This non-imaging technique removes operator distraction and simply determines the presence of a threat on a subject.

"My team and I wanted to use our knowledge of microwave and millimeter wave radar systems, at the cutting edge of technology, to turn a theoretical possibility into a practical and marketable solution, and hence provide a meaningful contribution to society." Stated Professor Nick Bowring, Head of the Sensing and Imaging Group at MMU. "It would have been unthinkable to bring this concept to fruition even five years ago, the compact computing power and componentry did not exist. We believe that the detection and deterrent capabilities of this device will allow lives to be saved". The technology was initially developed with significant funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Metropolitan Police and the Home Office Scientific Development Branch.

Commercial design and development of the products has been assigned to Radio Physics Solutions, a world-class specialist in intelligent millimeter wave ("MMW") Technologies. "The Radio Physics Solutions team has been instrumental in the continued funding and direction of environmental function and user requirements. They have brought their experience of product development and commercial intelligence to bear at a critical time." Added Prof. Bowring.

"There is already significant interest in this technology: initial deployments to satisfy current needs of selected strategic partners for operational deployment in both the Middle East and South America for Q1 2014" stated Radio Physics Solutions. "Law enforcement, Defense and intelligence Agencies will now have real time capability to identify and intercept threats, ranging from suicide vest IED’s to people carrying concealed firearms"

Radio Physics Solutions will develop two variants of this device: a handheld system for field deployment and a larger extended range static version suitable for checkpoints or vehicle mounting. Both devices are portable, battery powered and, in the case of the static version, detect threats up to 25-metres; the devices can be used covertly or overtly for checkpoints, mass transit points, shopping centers, stadia or other security sensitive areas. The devices have all weather operational capability, and -40°C to +60°C ambient operating range. The units can be carried by multiple operators screening a crowd or deployed static and monitored remotely as part of an integrated security system over wired or wireless connection. The MMU developed threat detection system provides a simple, effective and available solution for identifying concealed threats in high risk/high value environments.

MMU research and development team:
Professor Nicholas Bowring; Dr Stuart Harmer; Dr Dave Andrews; Dr Nacer Rezgui; Dr Matthew Southgate and Dr Sarah Smith.


For more information contact:

Chris Morris - Press Officer
Marketing, Communications and Development, Manchester Metropolitan University, Bellhouse,
Lower Ormond Street, Manchester, M15 6BX,
+44 (0) 161 247 2184

Radio Physics Solutions Limited
UK - Radio Physics Solutions, The Elms Courtyard, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 1RZ, UK
+44 (0) 7753 691 642