Cubic Joins Canadian Government in Public Transit Security Pilot
- Edmonton Initiative Involves Automated Transit Ticketing Threat Detection Technology
Cubic Security Systems, a subsidiary of Cubic Corporation (NYSE: CUB), is providing an advanced fare media-based real-time threat detection technology to help law enforcement teams to identify and respond to threats from chemical, radiological and explosive weapons in public transit settings under a Canadian government-funded pilot program to be launched this year in Edmonton, Canada.
Cubic demonstrated a preproduction prototype of its Clear-Use™ molecularly imprinted polymer optical explosives and radiological detection system during the 2011 SecureTech public safety and security conference held October 25-26 at the Ottawa Convention Centre. Cubic's solution, which includes both radiological and explosives detection sensors and a back-end central command security software system, detected radioactive test isotopes and highly diluted TNT and established simulated threat alerts to the command and control center and wireless smartphones during the event. Canadian authorities will begin testing the concept at Edmonton's Churchill station in late March 2012.
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"Cubic's transportation business has made public transportation more convenient by pioneering smart cards and other RFID fare payment technologies that make it faster and more convenient for passengers to use public transit. Now Cubic Security Systems is working to make transit systems safer with Clear-Use™, an innovative and practical fare media threat detection technology that automates the inspection process," said Walt Bonneau Jr., President and General Manager of Cubic Security Systems.
Cubic's technology drew keen interest from SecureTech attendees. Among those visiting Cubic's booth for demonstrations were David Jacobson, the U.S. Ambassador to Canada; Denis Lebel, Canadian Minister of Transport; and officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; U.S. Transportation Security Agency; U.S. Embassy in Canada; the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority; and Canadian Chemical, Biological Radiological-Nuclear and Explosives Research and Technology Initiative, known as CRTI, and Health Canada.
Cubic also participated in a conference session entitled "Passenger and Baggage Security - Impact of Technology on Screening." During the session, Walt Bonneau stated that public transport moved approximately 15 times more passengers than aviation in North America in 2010, yet there has been no substantial deployment of explosives detection technology related to ticketing for public transit. He noted that passenger throughput and convenience are paramount in public transport operations -- slow and intrusive detection systems simply won't work.
The Edmonton pilot is administered by Health Canada with Canadian Public Works as the contracting authority, and the Edmonton Transit System serving as the test coordinator. Funding for this project was provided through the CRTI, a program led by the Defence R&D Canada - Centre for Security Science on behalf of the federal science and technology community. As part of the 12-month program, Cubic Security Systems will install and integrate radiological and explosives detection technologies within public transit ticket vending and validation machines at the Churchill station under contract to the Canadian firm Mobile Detect, Inc. Mobile Detect is providing the RadWatch gamma radiological technology inserted into ticketing machines as well as the back-end data fusion and incident monitoring and reporting system.
Cubic-modified ticket validators at the station will have the capability to scan and read color changes on the molecularly imprinted polymer coating to detect potential threats, then link with Mobile Detect's monitoring and reporting software to transmit threat information in real time to law enforcement via high-speed wired and wireless networks. Molecularly imprinted polymer is applied onto an adhesive tape provided by Raptor Detection Technologies of Maryland.
Bonneau explained, "The Edmonton ticketing system is an honor system in which fare media are validated by a validator device and onboard inspection. The validators analyze the fare cards for traces and have the capability to take images and send a silent alert to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Edmonton's transit police if explosives or other potentially hazardous substances are detected. If the police are concerned there may be a threat, they can request a secondary inspection."
Source : Cubic Corporation (NYSE: CUB)