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News Archive 2001 - 2010

Security Research Institute Receives $250,000 Funding

November 2, 2004

The Institute for Research in Security (IRIS) at the University of Texas at Arlington has received a $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop advanced security detection methods to monitor, prevent and recover from natural or inflicted disasters.

Computer Science & Engineering Professor Larry Holder is the lead investigator on the project. He is being assisted by Computer Science & Engineering Professors Ishfaq Ahmad and Sajal Das, Electrical Engineering Professor Frank Lewis, Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Professor Frank Lu and several graduate students.

Current approaches to security detection systems (metal detectors and baggage scanners) rely on a few independent sensors to assess an individual’s threat level. The IRIS team will develop a prototype walk-through security portal that uses a variety of sensors – visible, infrared and millimeter-wave images, metal detection data, and air detection data – along with other information about the individual to determine a threat level. Dr. Holder and the team believe the fusion of all data from the sensors will yield a more accurate assessment than any one or more of the sensors produce individually.

The portal will facilitate research and development of advanced detection systems for secured entry through the use of multiple, network-integrated sensors. The team’s approach encompasses several interdisciplinary research areas, including smart sensors, wireless sensor and data networks, sensor placement, sensor fusion, pervasive computing, image processing, databases and data mining. Progress in these areas is crucial to our national security efforts and will have a large impact in both the scientific and industry communities.

As part of this project, IRIS is collaborating with several public safety and law enforcement agencies in developing and deploying leading-edge technologies in existing and future environments. The most significant impact of this project will be the discovery of new techniques for safer, more secure environments and for improving homeland security.