Topic Information Award/Contract Number Proposal Information Company Performance

Automated Threat Recognition (ATR) Algorithms using Standardized Image File Formats

HSHQDC-12-C-00076 DHS SBIR-2012.2-H-SB012.2-002-0001-I
(DHS SBIR-2012.2 Phase I)
Automatic Threat Recognition Algorithm for Volumetric CT Data

TeleSecurity Sciences
7391 Prairie Falcon Rd
Suite 150-B
Las Vegas, NV 89128-0186


This Phase I proposal describes the development of an Automatic Threat Recognition (ATR) algorithm for volumetric CT data. Our ATR algorithm consists of four stages: (1) preprocessing of CT data, (2) object segmentation of preprocessed CT data, (3) post-processing of segmentation results, and (4) explosive detection from the segmented objects. The ATR algorithm will be made computationally efficient by GPGPU programming in order to meet desired throughput of the screening process. The performance of the ATR algorithm will be thoroughly analyzed via extensive experiments with CT dataset of typical checked bags with ground truth. Since a preliminary segmentation algorithm is already built, Phase I begins from TRL 3 and concludes with experiments and comprehensive quantitative performance analysis (TRL 4). A DICOS-compliant ATR algorithm and standard CT test datasets for reliable quantification of explosive detection performance is expected at the end of Phase II.

Objective, Quantitative Image Quality Measurements and Metrics for Screener Imaging Technologies

HSHQDC-12-C-00080 DHS SBIR-2012.2-H-SB012.2-003-0002-I
(DHS SBIR-2012.2 Phase I)
Image Quality Assessment Toolkit for X-ray Imaging Systems

TeleSecurity Sciences
7391 Prairie Falcon Rd
Suite 150-B
Las Vegas, NV 89128-0186


This Phase I proposal describes (1) an automated image quality assessment (IQA) software to objectively quantify image quality of airport security X-ray imaging systems for both checked and carry-on baggage and (2) a design for a novel test phantom specialized for security CT scanners. For fixed images, automated algorithms will measure the Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) and Contrast-to-Noise Ratio (CNR) of scan images; for moving images, automated algorithms will measure the uniformity of the horizontal speed of the object on the screen. These powerful automated IQA algorithms will objectively quantify image quality, without human intervention. For IQA of line scanners for carry-on baggage, we will use the existing ASTM phantom test object; for IQA of CT scanners for checked baggage, we will use a new test phantom, the TSS CT Phantom (TCP), which will be designed and built during this project. Given the widespread use of the MTF and CNR in IQA of medical X-ray imaging systems and that TCP is adapted from a prevalent medical CT phantom, Phase I efforts begin from TRL 2. Phase I mostly involves developing software and hardware-(1) the preliminary design and building of TCP prototype and (2) developing automated IQA algorithms-and concludes with performing experimental tests of the algorithms on available data (TRL 4). An on-site comparative analysis between human screener IQA and automated (algorithmic) IQA of real baggage data is expected at the end of Phase II.

Bulk Currency Vapor Detection in Confined Spaces

HSHQDC-13-C-00117 HSHQDC-13-R-00032-H-SB013.2-001-0005-I
(HSHQDC-13-R-00032 Phase I)
Bulk Currency Vapor detection in Confined Spaces

Nevada Nanotech Systems, Inc.
1315 Greg Street
Suite 103
Reno, NV 89511-6091


The proposed goal of Nevada Nanotech Systems Inc for the Phase I program is to select a practical technological solution and develop a Con-Ops for the problem of detecting U.S. currency via unique vapor signature(s) in confined spaces for three related, though unique, application scenarios (bags, vehicles, and shipping containers). Nevada Nano will document a matrix of technical and operational requirements for three application areas, identifying commonalities and key differences. Nevada Nano will map the requirements to the capabilities of various existing technologies and assess the tradeoffs. Any gaps in the technology capabilities versus application requirements will be identified and workarounds developed to minimize the impacts. The Phase II goal is to fabricate systems for field testing, achieve satisfactory detection results in these tests, and provide detailed documentation of the performance. It is expected that a field-proven technology (TRL10) can be adapted for this application; however the need for adaptation will reduce the TRL to about 5/6 at the end of Phase I. Rapid increases to TRL7/8 are expected early in Phase II. The anticipated results are: 1. a comprehensive listing of requirements for this task based on prior studies and additional tests 2. a detailed assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of each possible technology solution with documented test results demonstrating baseline capabilities 3. a selection of the best fit technology and clear documentation of the strengths and weaknesses of the technology 4. conceptual design of any adaptations required for this application

System Simulation Tools for X-ray based Explosive Detection Equipment

HSHQDC-14-C-00022 HSHQDC-14-R-00005-H-SB014.1-003-0003-I
(HSHQDC-14-R-00005 Phase I)
Raw Data Generation Tool for X-ray Security Imaging Systems

TeleSecurity Sciences
7391 Prairie Falcon Rd
Suite 150-B
Las Vegas, NV 89128-0186


The X-ray intensity as measured by detectors depends on all aspects of the imaging system ranging from the source spectrum to various scatter events during the photon transport. The proposed simulator models the entire X-ray detection process from photon generation to various scatter events to the eventual detection of transmitted/scattered photons. In particular, the simulator models the two important form factors--coherent (Rayleigh and small angle) and incoherent (Compton)--to better guide the design of security imaging systems towards cost-effective and efficient operation aimed at optimizing classification of objects in packed bags as threats or benign. Central to the simulator are the analytical models for various components of X-ray physics. All components of the X-ray imaging system are modeled and parameterized with user specified parameters such as the scanner geometry (source/detector/conveyor positions), source characteristics (spectral shape, kVp and beam intensity profile of the X-ray source), and detector spectral response. In addition, various apertures (e.g., coded aperture) and collimators may also be included anywhere in the optical path. For instance, the vane collimators at the detectors typically used in CT scanners will also be modeled by the simulator. Such parameterization allows individual users to emulate any X-ray based imaging system. In particular, the simulator, through appropriate parameterization will allow the modeling of any Computed Tomography (CT) based Explosive Detection System (EDS).

Advanced Secure Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Related Distributed Control Systems

NBCHC040088 04110185
(FY04.1 Phase I)
Crypto-Secure Remote Terminal Unit for New and Retrofit Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition

The Right Stuff of Tahoe, Incorporated
The Right Place, 3341 Adler Court
Reno, NV 89503-1263


We propose to develop an integrated Cryptography Module (CM) and RTU (CMRTU) for SCADA applications. When used in CM mode, our CMRTU will be easily retrofitted into existing SCADA networks. When used in advanced RTU mode (where higher bandwidth connections are available), our CMRTU will provide both a secure gateway function and secure Internet protocols for interaction with either central monitoring station SCADA display systems, or with web-based operator interfaces used for direct monitoring and control. As a single device, our CMRTU combines, in a novel fashion, two distinct communications security provisions: (a) the AGA 12-1SCADA Link Security (SLS) protocols, for low-speed links; and (b) Secure Sockets with HTTP, for high-speed Internet protocols. At the device end, the CMRTU will support fieldbus protocols to enable it to communicate with sensors, actuators, and existing RTUs. During Phase 1, we will complete a design and demonstrate feasibility. Our work plan is feasible in large part due to our use of off-the-shelf protocol stacks and related software. The likelihood of project success is bolstered by our extensive experience in industrial control, SCADA security, and software development for projects of a similar scale.