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Supplement: IEEE 2012 Conference on Technology for Homeland Security: Best Papers

Homeland Security Affairs is proud to publish the best papers from the IEEE 2012 Conference on Technology for Homeland Security. Download the full issue.

The award for best conference paper overall went to “A Compressed Sensing Approach for Detection of Explosive Threats at Standoff Distances using a Passive Array of Scatterers,” by Jose Angel Martinez-Lorenzo and others. Addressing an important real-world problem, the research described in this paper applies millimeter wave radar imaging to find threats concealed under clothing at standoff distances up to fifty meters. Using a passive array of scatters in the target zone, compressive sensing can be used to linearize an otherwise difficult nonlinear problem. The result is an imaging algorithm used to achieve a resolution of 7.5 mm at 60 GHz which can accurately reconstruct the reflectivity values of both weak dielectric scatterers, such as explosives, including Tri-Nitro-Toluene (TNT), and strong scatters, like metallic pipes. The authors present a clever approach with good theoretical explanation, reasonable CONOPS and numerical validation.

The conference also awarded papers in four specific tracks: Cyber Security; Attack and Disaster Preparation, Recovery, and Response; Land and Maritime Border Security; and Biometrics and Forensics.

In the Cyber Security track, the award for best paper went to “Return-Oriented Vulnerabilities in ARM Executables,” by Zi-Shun Huang and Ian G. Harris. This paper presents a virus-scan approach to detect code sequences that can result in stack-smashing attacks on ARM devices. The work extends previous work on an important topic in special purpose static analysis techniques.

Lance Fiondella and others received the award for best paper in the Attack and Disaster Preparation, Recovery, and Response track for “Security and Performance Analysis of Passenger Screening for Mass-transit.” This paper addresses an important modern problem: that of deciding when and how much security is appropriate at mass transit terminals (i.e., the metro, rail, and bus stations). The authors recognize a fundamental tradeoff between security and terminal productivity (from delays, costs), and apply it to a specific terminal to demonstrate its analytic-effectiveness. They then describe how this method can drive policy decisions as well as research investments.

In the Land and Maritime Border Security Track, the award for best paper went to “Intelligent Radiation Sensor System (IRSS) Advanced Technology Demonstrator (ATD),” by Daniel Cooper and others. The paper describes spectroscopic radiation detectors designed to improve the detection, localization, and identification of potential radiological threats, presenting a significant multi-year end-to-end field technology demonstration of short-range radiological sensor network. The system is primarily targeted to situations where it is not feasible to direct traffic through portal radiation detection systems, e.g. large events, search team objectives, etc. The capability to intelligently network individual portable detectors and fuse their data using advanced algorithms and COTS hardware has been shown within this program to significantly increase the effectiveness of an assortment of portable radiation detectors in a variety of naturally occurring backgrounds.

A Video-based Hyper-focal Imaging Method for Iris Recognition in the Visible Spectrum,” by Sriram Tankasala and others was recognized as the best paper in the Biometrics and Forensics track. The authors create a visible-wavelength iris imaging system and test it on 46 volunteers imaged under highly controlled conditions at a 45-minute interval. Using a freely available comparison package, ROCs for left and right irises are developed for both the hyperfocal and single frame images showing the performance improvement for the hyperfocal method.

We would like to thank the IEEE for the opportunity to publish this important research in Homeland Security Affairs.

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