New “Harbor Shield” technology being developed to protect US ports from terror attacks

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

WASHINGTON - The United States is reportedly developing a new technology to safeguard its ports from being attacked by terrorists and smugglers.

America, which is the global hub of commerce, receives goods from all over the world. Over 11 million cargo containers enter the United States each year, but the real danger lies below the surface, Fox News reports.

The new technology, known as the “Harbor Shield” system, would reportedly enable harbour security professionals to scan through the vessels for bombs or drugs attached to the bottoms.

Rich Granger of Battelle, an Ohio-based science and technology development organization, is the project manager for the “Harbor Shield” system. The project is funded by the Office of Naval Research and is being tested in the depths of Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.

“Objects of varying sizes and shapes attached in different ways. Things that shouldn’t be there. That’s what we’re looking for,” Granger said. ccording to reports, the new technology uses underwater sonar sensors, collects images from a passing vessel, and passes back the pictures to a control station. This process enables operators to take a close look at the pictures and determine if there’s danger.

“Ideally, you know what’s coming,” Granger said.

“The problem right now is the only way to scan a vessel is to stop it. For safety reasons you have to send a team of divers under there and that’s disruptive. It’s disruptive to commerce. It’s dangerous for the divers. They don’t know what they’re getting themselves into necessarily, so what this does is it allows you to scan a vessel as it’s passing through so you don’t necessarily interrupt commerce, and yet you’re able to check for threats,” it added. (ANI)

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