New laser device offers video alternative

Jan Harris

May 18, 2007

Researchers at the US Department of Energy?s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a surveillance technology suitable for use where video would be unacceptable.

The Laser-Based Item Monitoring System provides high-resolution monitoring but because it does not use video, confidentiality and personal privacy are maintained.

The system uses low-cost reflective tags placed on objects to map the location of items under surveillance. Because the laser scans many points per second, it can detect very small changes in the reflected signal, which could mean that the item has been tampered with.

The system uses a high-resolution two-axis laser scanner capable of looking at a 60-degree field of view in 0.0005-degree increments, dividing the field of view into over 10 billion individual pointing locations. A camera with comparable resolution over the same field of view would require a 10,000-megapixel detector.


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