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A Physical Protection Systems Test Bed for International Counter-Trafficking System Development...

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Publication Date
Page Number
Conference Name
52nd Annual Meeting of the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management
Conference Location
Palm Desert, California, United States of America
Conference Date

Physical protection systems have a widespread impact on the nuclear industry in areas such as nuclear safeguards, arms control, and trafficking of illicit goods (e.g., nuclear materials) across international borders around the world. Many challenges must be overcome in design and deployment of foreign border security systems such as lack of infrastructure, extreme environmental conditions, limited knowledge of terrain, insider threats, and occasional cultural resistance. Successful security systems, whether it be a system designed to secure a single facility or a whole border security system, rely on the entire integrated system composed of multiple subsystems. This test bed is composed of many unique sensors and subsystems, including wireless unattended ground sensors, a buried fiber-optic acoustic sensor, a lossy coaxial distributed sensor, wireless links, pan-tilt-zoom cameras, mobile power generation systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, and fiber-optic-fence intrusion detection systems. A Common Operating Picture software architecture is utilized to integrate a number of these subsystems. We are currently performance testing each system for border security and perimeter security applications by examining metrics such as probability of sense and a qualitative understanding of the sensor’s vulnerability of defeat. The testing process includes different soil conditions for buried sensors (e.g., dry, wet, and frozen) and an array of different tests including walking, running, stealth detection, and vehicle detection. Also, long term sustainability of systems is tested including performance differences due to seasonal variations (e.g. summer versus winter, while raining, in foggy conditions). The capabilities of the test bed are discussed. Performance testing results, both at the individual component level and integrated into a larger system for a specific deployment (in situ), help illustrate the usefulness and need for integrated testing facilities to carry out this mission. The test bed provides access to grassy fields, wooded areas, and a large waterway – three distinct testing environments. The infrastructure supporting deployment of systems at the test bed includes grid power, renewable power systems, climate controlled enclosures, high bandwidth wireless links, and a fiber optic communications backbone. With over 10 acres of dedicated area and direct waterway access, the test bed is well suited for long term test and evaluation of physical protection and security systems targeting a wide range of applications.