Detection of Radioactivity in Transit Stations--Phase 2

The purpose of this project is to install, test, and evaluate a prototype system, using security cameras in rail rapid transit stations, to detect and identify radioactive materials. The prototype system will make use of transit security cameras, which are already installed in many subway stations, and integrate them with newly developed software, to detect dangerous, nearby radioactive materials. This Phase 2 project will build on the results of previous work done by the same firm in Transit IDEA Project 42, which demonstrated that digital cameras exhibit highly significant sensitivity to ionizing radiation and charged particles from radioactive materials. The radiological materials that terrorists might use in the construction of a "dirty bomb" emit energetic particles that could be detected by cameras. To identify and distinguish the "dirty bomb" signature, multiple cameras would be networked into local and remote computers. The detection of radiological sources will be performed using the patent pending software. The relatively inexpensive combination, using existing cameras in rail rapid transit stations and the software, could be rapidly deployed. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Metro Transit Police will participate in this project and have agreed to test the prototype system in one of their Metrorail stations. This partnership and participation will help guide the technology research and development so that the prototype system can be designed for a transit station environment.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-04, IDEA 5

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Berlin, Harvey

  • Start Date: 20080903
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 18952

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01462490
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-04, IDEA 5
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:04PM