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Watch the Latest ALERT 101 January 30, 2015

ALERT is proud to present the third installment of ALERT 101. This chapter’s topic focuses on Methods of Chemical Characterization and Mitigation, and is part 1 of a 2 part series. ALERT Thrust Leaders Jimmie Oxley (Thrust 1) and Steve Beaudoin (Thrust 2) provide commentary about the crucial role of chemical characterization in the mitigation of explosives-related threats, and how ALERT research is helping first responders and security personnel to detect and eliminate threats before they can be used for malicious reasons.

Chemical characterization for the purpose of explosives detection requires ALERT researchers to classify what are explosive materials, and what are not. In the lab, researchers observe how chemicals uniquely react to stimuli, thus determining their chemical properties. For example, Differential Scanning Calorimetry subjects the chemical samples to heat, thus producing a specific reaction that can then be compared to the Explosives Database managed by the University of Rhode Island to determine if the chemical is a volatile substance.

Researchers then leverage these chemical characterizations to develop sensors that detect explosive threats. Trace analysis techniques are used to sense when chemical residues are present on surfaces of or in the air around materials by picking up small quantities of the chemicals when they are in the solid or vapor phases. One such trace method uses a polymer swab developed by Prof. Beaudoin, to sense chemicals in the solid phase on an object’s surface. This swab has individual fingers, similar in design to a toothbrush, with chemical head groups attached to the ends that attract and hold the residue to the finger. ALERT continues to advance the state-of-the-art in both solid and vapor trace technologies through their recently established Trace Explosives Sampling for Security Applications (TESSA) workshops.

As a supplement to this installment, stay tuned for ALERT 101: Basic Properties of Atoms and Molecules, coming this spring!

Inspired by the success of TED (www.ted.com) and other educational media forums, ALERT has developed the ALERT 101 video series. Each video short features different technologies and research areas that the ALERT Center engages in. We hope that these productions help educate and inform the global community on these topics in an accessible and enjoyable way.

New England Cable News (NECN) Interviews ALERT Researcher, Prof. Carey Rappaport, on Breast Imaging Research October 26, 2014

Prof. Carey Rappaport, ALERT researcher in the College of Engineering at Northeastern University, was recently interviewed by the New England Cable News about his team’s microwave breast imaging research for safer breast cancer screenings. Watch the interview below:

 

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ALERT 101 is Back! July 17, 2013

ALERT 101: Video Analytics

We are pleased to present the second installment of ALERT 101. This segment’s topic is Video Analytics. ALERT researchers Richard Radke, Octavia Camps, and Venkatesh Saligrama explain what it is, how it’s used, and how they teach computers how to see and learn.

For users without YouTube access: ALERT 101: Video Analytics


This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under Award(s) 2008-ST-061-ED0001 and/or 2008-ST-061-ED0002. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies, either expressed or implied of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Inspired by the success of TED (www.ted.com) and other educational media forums, ALERT has developed the ALERT 101 video series. Each video short features different technologies and research areas that the ALERT Center engages in. We hope that these productions help educate and inform the global community on these topics in an accessible and enjoyable way.

David Castanon discusses ALERT-related research December 6, 2012

Watch Professor Castanon talk about his work in luggage screening, video analytics and explosives detection with the National Science Foundation:

ALERT presents the first installment of ALERT 101: Airport Screening Technologies December 1, 2012

We invite you to watch the first episode of ALERT 101 which focuses on the applications of Millimeter Wave Scanning and Backscatter X-ray in Airport Security Screening.

 

For users without YouTube access: ALERT 101: Airport Screening Tecnologies
 

Inspired by the success of TED (www.ted.com) and other educational media forums, ALERT has developed the ALERT 101 video series. Each video short will feature different technologies and research areas that the ALERT Center engages in. We hope that these productions help educate and inform the global community on these topics in an accessible and enjoyable way.

ALERT Researcher Carey Rappaport discusses his work with Northeastern University November 28, 2012

Watch Professor Rappaport talk about his Homeland Security Related Research with Northeastern University:

An Introduction to the Research and Industrial Collaboration Conference (RICC) October 3, 2012


For more than a decade, the RICC has fostered in-depth dialog among members of the academic, industrial and government communities interested in collaboration in subsurface sensing and imaging and homeland security related topics. This video, taken at the 2011 RICC, provides an overview of the successful event from the perspective of its participants.