University counter-terrorism research trialled by Government
Release Date 29 November 2010
The University of Reading is one of just three universities in the world to be chosen by the Government to trial its innovative research in the field of counter-terrorism.
Dr James Ferryman, who leads the Computational Vision Group (CVG) in the School of Systems Engineering, will also be showcasing his groundbreaking technology at a special event organised by INSTINCT. This is the Home Office's Innovative Science and Technology programme which aims to identify and trial innovative technologies, solutions or ideas to counter terrorism. The specific focus at this showcase is on enhancing airport security.
Two research projects have been selected - one is a robust automated system to spot unattended luggage in public spaces, and the other highlights suspicious behaviour.
The first project uses a network of CCTV cameras, automatic detection and threat analysis to alert an operator if a bag is truly abandoned or not. The system relies on behavioural understanding, specifically the intention of the bag's owner. For example, if the owner has dropped a bag and walked away temporarily to buy a coffee, the system will not alert security officials to a threat. Reducing the number of false alarms is a major priority for effective security systems.
The second project is the Universal Threat Management System (UTMS), developed by BAE Systems which is partnering with the University of Reading in the technology demonstration. The system assesses the behaviour of individuals to see if they constitute a threat. For example, if someone appeared to be loitering in an airport lounge, a public security announcement might be made to see how that individual reacts. The automatic behavioural analysis system detects any response and determines the potential threat and advises the operator on what to do next.
Dr Ferryman said: "The projects developed have real application for aviation security and we are looking forward to working with the Home Office and Industry to progress them further. INSTINCT TD2 is an excellent opportunity for the University of Reading to trial its research work and to develop new partnerships to further enhance the technology."
Industry and academia were invited last month to submit technologies, processes and ideas for evaluation by an independent panel. More than 300 applications were received and the 20 most promising and innovative have been selected for a series of live trials.
The INSTINCT TD2 showcase event is being held at Thales Crawley on 1 and 2 December and the technologies will be judged on whether they offer practicable solutions in counter-terrorism. There will be cash prizes for the three best projects.
For more information please contact Rona Cheeseman, press officer, on 0118 378 7388 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
The Computational Vision Group at the University of Reading can be found at http://www.cvg.reading.ac.uk/
The SUBITO project is a capability project funded by the EU under Security Topic SEC-2007 and designed to research and further develop automated real time detection of abandoned luggage, fast identification of the individual responsible and their subsequent path and current location. The SUBITO consortium is formed by diverse group of technology and implementation experts from six countries. http://www.subito-project.eu
The School of Systems Engineering has a unique mix of skills in information technology, computer science, cybernetics, electronic engineering, embedded systems, robotics, communications, feedback and control. It is grounded in firm scientific and engineering principles, and is well placed to develop and exploit the emerging technologies that will play a key role in wealth creation and in defining the way society both works, and plays, well into this new Millennium.
University of Reading is rated as one of the top 200 universities in the world (QS World Rankings 2010).
- The University of Reading is one of the UK's top research-intensive universities. The University is ranked in the top 20 UK higher education institutions in securing research council grants worth nearly £10 million from EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, AHRC and BBSRC. In the latest RAE (2008), over 87% of the University's research was deemed to be of international standing. Areas of particular research strength recognised include meteorology and climate change, typography and graphic design, archaeology, philosophy, food biosciences, construction management, real estate and planning, as well as law.
- Standards of teaching are excellent - the University scored highly in the National Student Survey 2010. 88% of Reading students responding to the survey stated they were satisfied with the quality of their course
- The University is estimated to contribute £600 million to the local economy annually.
- University of Reading is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience. http://www.1994group.ac.uk/www.1994group.ac.uk
- More information at www.reading.ac.uk