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Submitted October 2005

Nonlinear Acoustic Concealed Weapons Detection

by Anjani Achanta,* Mark McKenna, Samuel Guy, Eugene Malyarenko, Ted Lynch, Joseph Heyman, Kevin Rudd** and Mark Hinders**

In this paper, we describe a concealed weapons detection concept, based on nonlinear ultrasonic beam mixing in air, which offers advantages over traditional techniques. Two ultrasonic frequency signals at high sound pressures undergo nonlinear beam mixing to generate audio range difference frequency signals which can probe through thick clothing. While the low frequency beams penetrate, the beam collimation and resolution is determined by the ultrasound. We present our research from proof of concept to laboratory prototype tests to address two major challenges faced by the law enforcement community. The first is detection of hidden objects at a short range for use in the corrections field. Here, images contrasting weapons against a tissue simulating background, both of which are concealed under fabric, are shown with image resolution not possible using conventional acoustics. For the detection of weapons at distances up to 4.5 m (177 in.), custom parametric array transducers and dish receivers were employed to excite and analyze the acoustic signatures of concealed guns, knives, scissors and cell phones for use by the street level law enforcement community. Resonance excitation of objects, chirp signal excitation, database generation, spectrogram analysis and signal processing using advanced correlation algorithms at various stages in the development process are described. Some issues involved in realistic implementation are also discussed. Keywords: concealed weapons detection, nonlinear acoustics, signatures, resonance, scattering.

In the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks, the nondestructive testing (NDT) community has been focusing on enhancing NDT technology and approaches for applications in homeland security and terrorism prevention (Baltzer, 2002). Most of the technologies being deployed for security applications are similar to those already being used by the NDT community. For example, current commercially available systems for concealed weapons detection are based on metal detection, X-rays, camera-based millimeter wave technology and terahertz imaging systems. Each approach has advantages and serious limitations (Electronic Privacy Information Center, 2005). The development of a handheld, cost effective, reliable, street-deployable system for the detection of concealed weapons from a standoff distance of 5 m (197 in.) is of great value to security officials and law enforcement personnel. A handheld concealed weapons detection device can be extremely useful when deployed in public places like malls, parks, schools and
* Luna Innovations, 130 Research Drive, Hampton, VA 23666; (757) 2245723; fax (757) 224-2019; e-mail <achantaa@lunainnovations.com>. Luna Innovations, 130 Research Drive, Hampton, VA 23666; (757) 2245723; fax (757) 224-2019. Luna Innovations, 130 Research Drive, Hampton, VA 23666; (757) 2245723; fax (757) 224-2019; e-mail <heymanj@lunainnovations.com>. ** Department of Applied Science, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23187.

subways, where potential hostage situations can be avoided. Another overriding concern in the criminal justice field is the safety of correctional officers. While there are several commercially available alarm systems for responding to an assault in prisons, the growing number of attacks on prison staff by inmates indicates room for improvements. For example, the Bureau of Justice reports 14 165 attacks on prison staff by inmates, with 14 deaths and a 32% increase in attacks in five years (Hart, 2003). Prison managers face additional challenges, including identifying and screening visitors and the control of inmate movement (Nacci and Mockensturm, 2001; Paulter, 2001; Spawar Systems Center, 2003). There is a growing need for new technologies that will aid in the safe detection of handcrafted concealed weapons from items such as toothbrushes, alarm clocks, pens and razors. Nonacoustic devices like the examples given above have serious limitations in detecting plastic weapons, are not cost effective and have complex hardware implementation. While some imaging techniques provide high resolution pictures of a person carrying a hidden weapon in real time, they raise serious privacy concerns due to anatomically precise images (Graham-Rowe, 2004) and radiation exposure (National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, 2003). Other limitations include speed of testing, realtime implementation, detection at a distance, outdoor noise and portability issues. Conventional acoustic techniques have the disadvantage of attenuation at higher frequencies and a large beam width at lower frequencies, which limits the ability to detect small weapons (like guns, knives, plastic or ceramic blades and box cutters) from long standoff distances (Kinsler and Frey, 1962). The work presented here is a team effort to develop a nonlinear acoustic weapons detection tool for standoff detection in street systems and a wand system for the corrections institute. We discuss the nonlinear acoustic concept, theory and its relevance to concealed weapons detection. We describe the proof of concept tests for penetration capability of nonlinear acoustic waves and short range, high resolution imaging of concealed objects. Longer range acoustic propagation, hardware design, collection of acoustic resonant signatures from weapons and the classification of targets will also be discussed. Finally, we will discuss some of the limitations and difficulties encountered and describe future work plans and conclusions.

Nonlinear acoustic generation via parametric acoustic arrays (Westervelt, 1963) has been studied for approximately 40 years and has been applied widely in several underwater sonar applications such as communications and subbottom profiling (Hamilton and Blackstock, 1998), medical ultrasound (Fatemi et al., 2002) and acoustic microscopy for materials characterization (Lima et al., 2005). When two high frequency waves f1 and f2 combine at high sound pressures, the resulting sum signal driving the transmitter
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will undergo self demodulation as it propagates. This results in the generation of additional frequency components at the integer multiples of the sum and difference of the original frequencies (nf1 mf2). The parametric array in air was first experimentally demonstrated by Bennett and Blackstock in 1975. Audio applications of the parametric array were described by Blackstock in 1997. Recently, commercial parametric arrays have come on the consumer market for audio applications including targeted advertising and localized museum soundtracks (Croft and Norris, 2001; Pompei, 1999; Sennhieser, 2004). All use somewhat different forms of ultrasonic transducer arrays and transmitter electronics, but operate under the same parametric array principles described above. Since the absorption of acoustic energy in air is frequency dependent, as the acoustic wave propagates the higher frequencies are quickly attenuated and the difference frequency (f1 f2) becomes the dominant frequency present in the acoustic wave. However, because the resulting acoustic beams directionality is determined by the transducer size relative to the original high frequencies f1 and f2, a very narrow sound beam at the low difference frequency (f1 f2) can be achieved. Using this concept, a nonlinear ultrasonic system has been developed to provide an enhanced capability for detecting hidden weapons over traditional ultrasonic techniques. The approach is called nonlinear acoustic concealed weapons detection. In the setup shown in Figure 1, when the modulated signal is radiated from a focusing source, the difference frequency sound generated due to acoustic nonlinear propagation is concentrated at the focus. The amplification from focusing the beam compensates for the low conversion efficiency from the source frequencies to difference frequency. Thus, a small size low frequency probe beam can be realized by setting the two frequencies close to each other.

itself is modulated by the propagating high power sound wave (Blitz, 1963). This can be understood in the equations that follow. (1) air density: = 0 (1 + )

where 0 = the static density = the incremental increase in density produced by the acoustic wave. (2) acoustic pressure: P = 0 cA (1 + )

where c = the adiabatic sound velocity (with 0c the characteristic impedence of the air) A = the amplitude of the oscillatory displacement that a small element within the air sees when in the presence of an acoustic wave. For two interacting beams of frequency f1 and f2: (3) A = A1 sin ( f1t kx ) + A2 sin ( f2 t kx ) and = 0 A

We find the acoustic pressure in the presence of acoustic waves: (4)

2 P= 0 cAi 0

(5) P = 0 c A1 sin X + A2 sin Y + 0 c 0 A1 sin X + A2 sin Y X and Y are corresponding angular arguments: (6) X = ( f1t kx ) and Y = ( f2 t kx ) P = 0 c A1 sin X + A2 sin Y + 0 c 0 2 2 2 A1 in X sin Y + A2 sin 2 Y sin X + 2 A1 A2 si

In order to model the generation of the difference frequency and to study the interaction of the acoustic difference frequency and the target, it is necessary to understand the nonlinear generation of the acoustic signal and the scattering. The theory and modeling will be described below. The source of the classification signals is derived from the basic linear and nonlinear interaction equations that treat the acoustic wave as a significant modifier of the local velocity of sound. The velocity of sound depends on the local density, which


Table 1 shows the various terms of the source equation, the

Figure 1 Experimental setup used to generate a parametric acoustic beam mixing two frequencies along the propagation path.
Table 1 Nonlinear acoustic concealed source equation terms Dependence Amplitude Frequency components Average over one cycle Term 1 0cA1 f1 0 Term 2 0cA2 f2 0 Term 3 0c0A21 2f1 [0c0A21]/2 Cross Term 4 20c0A1A2 f1 f2; f1 + f2 f1; f2 0 Term 5 0c0A22 2f2 [0c0A22]/2

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frequency of those terms and the average force integrated over one cycle. Terms 3 and 5 of Equation 7 produce a nonzero force when averaged over one cycle. This force is the radiation pressure, or the ultrasonic wind as it is sometimes called. This force generates ultrasonic streaming. Term 4 is the critical nonlinear term for nonlinear acoustic concealed weapons detection in the generation of the acoustic probing wave, derived from the two ultrasonic waves. It comes from the f1 f2 nonlinear mixing that occurs in the air. All of these terms at all of the frequencies interact with the target and result in the total signal presented to the nonlinear acoustic concealed weapons detection system for analysis. Some of the terms are absorbed over very short distances, such as the f1 + f2 term that is highly attenuated at its higher frequency. In concealed weapons detection, the targets have complex geometries and are surrounded by multiple clothing layers and tissue. The impedance difference between air and most objects is very large, so that the reflection and interaction of the beam with an object is a complex mixing of many specular and diffuse wavefronts. In addition, the ultrasonic beam exhibits beam spread caused by the finite size of the source with respect to the wavelength of the disturbance as well as the geometry of the reflecting object. Hence, analysis of the received data becomes extremely important. We developed a signal processing tool for this application to extract features that have been classified as indicative of hidden objects or geometries. One major advantage of nonlinear acoustic concealed weapons detection is that the detection process is not based on imaging; instead it is the acoustic response and resonance features of the target that classifies it as a weapon. Once an indication has been detected, the idea is to instruct a sophisticated sweep to increase the classification certainty. One of our early tasks during this project was modeling the propagation of the mixed ultrasonic and audio beams and later improving these simulations to study the interactions of the beams with concealed objects. The Khokhlov-Zabolotskaya-Kuznetsov equation (Lee and Hamilton, 1995) is the most widely used wave equation to model nonlinear acoustic beams. It accurately models the combined effects of nonlinearity, absorption and diffraction. Lee (1993) developed a finite difference method based on the Khokhlov-Zabolotskaya-Kuznetsov equation to model pulsed acoustic emissions from axial symmetric sources. Using a similar underlying concept, a model was developed to visualize the wavefront of a dual-frequency ultrasonic signal as it undergoes nonlinear audio generation in air. As an example, we present the results of two simulations of the same parametric configuration with different degrees of nonlinearity in Figure 2. The first simulation uses the appropriate coefficient of nonlinearity for air ( = 1.2) and the second does not include any nonlinear effects; at each distance shown on the left, the plot is split horizontally, with the nonlinear simulation on top and the linear simulation on the bottom. A 610 mm (2 ft) diameter transducer with a geometrical focus of 8 m (26.2 ft) is excited with a short pulse that contains two frequencies: 45 and 55 kHz. The initial sound pressure is 120 db. Each waveform is recorded at 2 m (6.7 ft) intervals starting at the face of the transducer and extending to 10 m (32.8 ft). At 0 m (0 in.), both ultrasound frequencies are present. As the wave propagates away from the transducer, the ultrasound is quickly absorbed due to the viscosity of the air. As can be seen from the plot, the nonlinear and linear (upper and lower) plots are almost identical until 6 m (19.7 ft) where the ultrasound frequencies are attenuated and the difference frequency becomes the dominant frequency in the nonlinear simulation. This unambiguously shows that the creation of the difference frequency is a result of the nonlinearity of air.

Figure 2 Parametric pulse propagation: sound pressure field of a nonlinear versus linear wave as it propagates away from the transducer. The X axis represents time and the Y axis represents radial direction.

Near Range Concealed Weapons Detection Using the test setup shown in Figure 1, an ultrasonic air-coupled transducer was mechanically scanned along the surface of a target at a liftoff of 140 mm (5.5 in.). This is an intermediate test between a contact test and a fully remote, long distance test for detection of concealed weapons. From the practical standpoint, one potential

application for this technique is airport security screening with an ultrasonic wand. A 140 kHz spherically focused transducer was used as a signal source. The focal spot size of this transducer was 5 mm (0.2 in.) at a distance of 140 mm (5.5 in.) from the face. The transducer was driven with a mixed frequency signal at frequencies f1 and f2, slightly different from its resonant frequency. A directional shotgun microphone was used as a receiver. The data in Figure 3 are for one spot on a target with the source frequencies set at 137 and 144 kHz (difference frequency is 7 kHz). The frequency domain signals are shown to highlight the narrow band nature of the acoustic difference frequency. Figure 4 shows the scan system used to generate the image data of a sample under test. The sample is an unconcealed pair of scissors on top of a human torso model made of tissue simulant gel. The transducer/microphone assembly was translated in a scanning mode to build a spatial image of the interaction zone at the target. The scan dimensions in the tests below are 300 by 250 mm (11.8 by 9.8 in.) and scan step size is 1 mm (0.04 in.). Traces using continuous wave excitations were collected at each location at a sampling frequency of 100 kHz. For each scan, the complete set of time domain signals was saved for postprocessing. Postprocessing of the continuous wave data included generating a Fourier transform of each trace and computing the energy of the peak corresponding to the difference frequency. For pulsed signals, images were formed by computing appropriate timegated reflected energy (C-scans).
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weapons were provided by the National Institute of Justice. For all subsequent scanning tests using the nonlinear acoustic approach, the experiments were set up such that the presence or absence of a weapon could not be detected visually, a test that most closely simulated an actual real life target.


(b) Figure 5 Improvised weapons made by inmates (courtesy of the National Institute of Justice). Figure 3 Sample data recorded at the target with a shotgun microphone used as a receiver: (a) the fast Fourier transform plot of the difference frequency; (b) the fast Fourier transform plot of the source frequencies. The nonlinear interaction produces the very narrow bandwidth difference frequency signal. Scanning the system over the scissors in Figure 4 produced an image with a resolution far beyond what is possible from a 10 kHz wave (wavelength of 33 mm [1.3 in.]). The resolution clearly is linked to the shorter wavelength of the two high frequency beams, generated by the narrowband ultrasonic transducer. This transducer transmits efficiently around its resonant frequency of 140 kHz. The sum frequency generated through nonlinear mixing (Table 1) is attenuated by the time it reaches the receiver. Remaining sum frequencies are further attenuated by a low pass filter set with a cutoff frequency below the driving frequencies of 135 and 145 kHz. In the above experiment, preliminary tests were run to ensure that the difference frequency, detected by the microphone, was not generated by nonlinearities in the microphone or the ultrasonic transducer. Figure 4 also shows a scan of the plastic gun covered by cloth. This test was also done at 10 kHz, and the presence of a foreign object under cloth is detected. The shape of the concealed gun is not defined as sharply as the shape of the scissors, mainly due to the introduction of a new variable scattering from the surface of the fabric. A new series of improvements to the scanning technique was necessary to reach the next level of resolution. The imaging results shown above provide a preliminary proof of concept of the superior focusing and resolution of parametric arrays. Following this proof of concept, a more rigorous set of scans were conducted on the real weapons shown in Figure 5. These To enhance resolution, these scans were later conducted in the pulsed mode using two 20 ms high frequency beams of 140 and 147.5 kHz. The combined beam generates a 7.5 kHz difference frequency that can penetrate clothing and produce echoes from the hidden object sufficiently strong to be received by the microphone. While the transducers, scanning hardware and electronics were kept the same, the image of the scissors, generated in the continuous wave mode, was analyzed in the fast Fourier transform domain and the images of the improvised weapons were processed in the time domain. In these tests, we also optimized the orientations of both the transmitting transducer and the receiver microphone to enhance reception of the acoustic echo from the hidden object. We lowered the microphone to point right at the transducers focal spot and directed it as close to the normal as was possible with the geometrical constraints, mainly by the diameter of the transducer. Figure 6 shows the setup of the concealed weapons scan. Two layers of thin fabric were covering the test articles such that there was no visual evidence of the presence of an object underneath. The arrangement of the objects on the tissue mimicking gel pad is also shown in the figure. Figure 6c shows the time domain C-scan image of the three hidden objects. The image was acquired when the double layered cloth was stretched at approximately 12.7 (0.5 in.) above the weapons. The image resolves all three hidden objects. We have found that stretched fabric produces uniform offset while loose fabric distorts the reflected signal in a nonuniform way. The above experiments show the feasibility of short range detection of concealed weapons by scanning a focused, parametrically excited, low frequency acoustic beam. A low frequency acoustic






Figure 4 Test setup for scanning the nonlinear acoustic concealed weapons detection system: (a) basic setup; (b) unconcealed scissors; (c) resultant image of scissors as scanned lying on top of tissue-simulating gel; (d) plastic gun used in scanning; (e) resultant image of gun as scanned lying between fabric and the tissue-simulating gel. Note the resolution is consistent with the ultrasonic, not acoustic, frequency.
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Figure 6 Concealed weapons detection system setup and results for imaging improvised weapons: (a) the weapons placed on the tissue-simulating gel; (b) sample covered by two layers of fabric; (c) nonlinear acoustic imaging result, clearly showing the concealed weapons. For these tests, the fabric was placed in such a way that there was no visual indication of the weapons position beneath the fabric. beam can be used for high resolution imaging, if it is produced by mixing two high frequency beams. The resolution is not compromised when simulated and real weapons are placed on a human tissue simulator and hidden under several layers of fabric. As a result of this demonstration, we have also developed guidelines for further improving the technique and moving it to the next stage a handheld wand for security screening. Long Range Concealed Weapons Detection For a longer range street system, the National Institute of Justice would like to deploy systems which can detect concealed weapons at distances of 4.5 m (14.8 ft) or greater. They would also like systems with a compact size, which are easily deployable by a single law enforcement officer, and which provide detection in 1 s or less. For detection at distances of 4.5 m (14.8 ft), we employed a resonant spectroscopic approach to acquire the resonant signatures of the weapons, rather than raster scanning the person to make an image. This approach has clear speed advantages. In fact, the current tests take approximately 1 s. This spectroscopic technique is similar to accepted techniques in the NDT community such as resonant ultrasound spectroscopy (Maynard, 1996), which has been applied to test a variety of materials from engineered samples such as composites and ball bearings (Spooer et al., 1997), superconductors (Maynard et al., 1992) and geological samples (Leisure and Willis, 1997). In all these cases, the resonant signature of a sample is used to determine the elastic constants of the sample or to measure engineering properties for quality control. A variety of transducers have been used to excite the sample resonances, from piezoelectric, lasercoupled ultrasonic and electromagnetic acoustic transducers (Ogi et al., 2002). Kadachak et al. (2000) have used an air-coupled resonant signature measurement to detect the presence of liquids in sealed tanks. In the experimental setup, the transmitters were commercially available systems designed for audio spotlight applications. These transducers allowed generation of sufficient sound pressure levels, of approximately 100 dB, to generate enough acoustic energy to penetrate the clothing at distances up to 4.5 m (14.8 ft). Rather than using a single piezoelectric transducer, such as those used for parametric arrays in underwater applications, we used a multiple element transmitter, 0.6 m (23.6 in.) in diameter, with 120 individual capacitive transducer elements, each 50 mm (2 in.) in diameter and driven simultaneously in phase by a low frequency modulated, high voltage signal. This has several advantages, primarily for size and weight. Use of the capacitive transducer elements also reduces generation of a difference frequency in the transducer itself, which can occur due to saturation of piezoelectric ceramics transducers such as lead zirconate titanate ceramic transducers. A low frequency modulated signal was used to excite the transducer to generate the acoustic signal, using either a summing circuit and an audio amplifier or a proprietary amplifier for the transducers. Two transmitter arrays were used: the first was a flat unfocused array and the second had a curved front surface to focus the beam at 4.5 m (14.8 ft). With the focused array, there was approximately a 10 dB increase in sound pressure levels as compared to the unfocused array. Before designing a focused transmitter, we used an array to demonstrate that sufficient energy could be generated using the aircoupled signals to cause a metallic sample to acoustically resonate (Heyman et al., 2005). For this test, a 50 mm (2 in.) outer diameter steel tube sample, 150 mm (5.9 in.) in length was used as the test sample. First, the test sample was placed at the focal spot of the receiver, held by one end and tapped to measure the natural resonant frequency. This is shown as the darker curve in Figure 7. The resonant quality factor of the sample was approximately 70. Then, the sample was placed on an absorbing background and excited by the air-coupled transducer array. In this case, the ultrasonic frequencies were centered on 65 kHz and the difference frequency was varied from 1 to 2.8 kHz. The resonance of the tube is clearly shown, with a much smaller quality factor for the resonance and a slight shift of the resonance frequency from 2.05 kHz to approximately 1.9 kHz due to the mounting.

Figure 7 Two resonant spectrum measurements for a 50 mm (2 in.) outer diameter steel tube sample, 150 mm (5.9 in.) in length. The darker trace is for the tube held from one end and excited with a tap. Here the quality factor is approximately 70, because the tube was undamped. The lighter trace shows the same resonance mode, with the tube supported horizontally on an absorbing cloth background. The quality factor for the resonance is approximately 8.
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For actual concealed weapons detection tests, the transmitter was designed using nonlinear beam simulations. We worked with an outside laboratory to design a focused transducer. The focus spot size was limited by the size of the transducer (handheld requirement) and the 4.5 m (14.8 ft) distance produced a spot size of 250 mm (9.8 in.). Since the weapons that were to be tested were 100 to 200 mm (3.9 to 7.9 in.) in size, we fabricated a lightweight elliptical receiver dish that is approximately 1 m (39.4 in.) in size and designed such that the microphone and the interrogation zone that were 4.5 m (14.8 ft) apart were at each of the foci of the ellipse forming the dish. The elliptical receiver dish was able to isolate a 100 mm (3.9 in.) spot size. The carrier frequencies of the element in the transmitter unit shown in Figure 8 are 65 kHz and the capacitive transducer is driven through a controller provided by the manufacturer. The maximum sound pressure of the ultrasound at the focus was found to be 134 dB and the maximum sound pressure level of the audio was 111 dB at 6.4 kHz, both measured at the focus using an audio microphone. Different objects have different acoustic responses depending upon their physical structure and boundary conditions. Since each of the weapons would be unknown to the user, a chirp signal 28 ms in length ranging from 5 to 15 kHz was used as the incident signal from the speaker. The 28 ms chirp was determined to be optimal based on the room size, wall reflections and crosstalk between source and receiver. The chirp frequency range was determined based on examination of the frequency response of a variety of weapon objects in the database. The amplitude of the linear chirp was varied to linearize the amplitude response of the transducer array and electronics.


(b) Figure 8 Long range concealed weapons detection: (a) test setup; (b) spectrogram display containing the fast Fourier transform domain, time domain and joint time frequency domain plots.

Figure 9 shows the results generated from various weapons hidden in a persons pocket under his shirt. These results are represented in the form of spectrograms (joint time frequency) of the received chirp signal. Each recorded signal was averaged five times and the specular part of the signal was removed by postprocessing.
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The signal was also time gated to remove reflections from surrounding walls. In Figure 9a, there is no target in the focal zone of the transducer. There is little or no information in the spectrogram. Also, time gating of the signal to eliminate room noise worked effectively. In the spectrogram shown in Figure 9b, a portion the original signal is reflected back and the rest is absorbed by the clothing and human tissue background. When the person holds a weapon in the interrogation zone, additional features show up in the spectrogram (Figure 9c) which are characteristic of the weapon type, position and orientation. To further support this, the spectrogram plot in Figure 9d was from a signal reflected off a person holding a gun. Figures 9c and 9d are different based on the nature of the weapons. A number of different chirps were experimented with depending on the type of weapon being tested. Some of the variations that were tested during the analysis were weapon type, orientation and boundary conditions. Signatures of objects were prerecorded by varying these parameters and constituted the database for the correlation algorithms developed in the next stage of the work. Using this database, unknown concealed objects were detected and classified correctly. Table 2 provides a summary of correlation algorithm results for two unknown weapons that were tested from a database of signatures that contained acoustic features of objects including scissors, a box cutter, a cell phone, a plastic gun and a pocket knife. The values in the table are the correlation coefficients obtained after matching the incoming signals with the signatures in the database. These objects are approximately half the size of the beam at the focus. When recording the database, care was taken to measure the acoustic signatures of these weapons with a direct incidence of the input chirp signals on the weapon and the return signal recorded by the microphone. For each weapon, several signatures were generated and averaged. When testing the unknown cases, two weapons from the database of six weapons were selected for running correlation algorithms. The unknown weapons were concealed behind a thick coat 4.5 m (14.8 ft) away from the transmitter and receiver. The actual weapons that were concealed behind the thick coat were: Unknown 1, box cutter; Unknown 2, scissors; and Unknown 3, a combination of box cutter and scissors. These results indicate that objects that belong to a class of weapons can be distinguished from nonweapons with some certainty. The low values indicate that the database needs to be improved. These correlation coefficient values are input to the software that provides a security official with a decision making tool for easy interpretation and visualization of results. For realistic implementation of the nonlinear acoustic concealed weapons detection system, current software provides an automatic detection result that displays the warning message when a weapon is present. A well trained database can detect and classify a weapon (Figure 10). For successful tests in uncontrolled conditions, classification of objects to identify a threat or no threat would be realistic. The results in Table 2 have shown that objects that have similar physical features, like the blade of a scissors or a box cutter, are hard to distinguish from each other and instead can be commonly classified a threat. Propagation through thick clothing has been attempted and it is observed that fabric that is more absorbing eliminates the huge reflection from the input ultrasound carrier frequency and, hence, provides a cleaner return signal containing the weapons features. However, this is a not the case for a tight weave fabric, where processing of the return signal to remove specular reflection becomes more important. This has been addressed in the frequency domain. As expected, as the standoff distance increases, it becomes harder to focus the beam to a small spot with a 610 mm (2 ft) transducer. Hence, we are currently working on building a dynamically focused system and controlling the beam spot size electronically through a phased array approach. Another advantage of such a system would be the capability to assess moving targets in a real test situation. We are also interested in detecting concealed suicide vests and explosive material in our future work.





Figure 9 Spectrograms of received signals picked up by a dish microphone 4.5 m (14.8 ft) away: (a) no target; (b) person with no weapon; (c) person with a concealed box cutter; (d) person with a large concealed gun. The position of the person was set to coincide with the focus spot of the transducer.
Table 2 Signature identification results Comparison Combination Unknown 1 Unknown 2 Unknown 3 Box Cutter 0.5252 0.03366 0.3413 Cell Phone 0.2872 0.0155 0.0192 Pocket Knife 0.1493 0.0832 0.0798 Plastic Gun 0.4213 0.0373 0.1356 Scissors 0.3383 0.2057 0.3392 Metal Tube 0.2269 0.0228 0.0468





Figure 10 Nonlinear acoustic concealed technique to detect and classify different weapons: (a) the weapons used; (b) classification software; (c) results from a gun; (d) results from a box cutter. The fast Fourier transform signal for a gun is significantly different than that for the box cutter.
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The use of nonlinear acoustic beams for concealed weapons detection has been demonstrated for direct application by the Department of Corrections and the development of a street system for the Department of Justice. Objects such as guns, knifes, cutters and scissors that can be used as potential weapons have been detected successfully from a short distance as well as a well controlled distance of 5 m (16.4 ft). Having proved the concept, the application of this technique in multiple situations is now hardware driven. A phased array based dynamically focusing system with improved signal processing will be the final field deployable system that we envision. The database of weapons signatures needs to be further expanded. The speed of testing, ability to detect moving targets and ability to see through thick clothing will be determined by the transmitter and receiver design, which will be determined in the continuation phase of this program. A cost effective detection system like the nonlinear acoustic concealed weapons detection system would be of great value to law enforcement.

Luna Innovations thanks the National Institute of Justice, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for their support of this work and the management oversight provided by the Air Force Research Lab Information Directorate as technical representatives. In addition, this work was supported by the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency. The content of the information provided herein does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the government and no official endorsement should be inferred. We also greatly appreciate the assistance of M. Bhardwaj, of the Ultran Group, for loaning the short range air-coupled transducer.

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1202 Materials Evaluation/December 2005