Cubic Security Systems, a subsidiary of Cubic Corp., completed a Canadian government pilot to evaluate new radiological and explosives detection technologies for public transit security.
The pilot took place at the Churchill light-rail transit station in Edmonton, Canada, and involved the CLEAR-USE radiological and explosives detection system developed by Cubic Security Systems and prime contractor Mobile Detect Inc. of Ontario. Testing began in June and concluded in July. The Canadian government will now analyze the pilot results with a final evaluation report and assessment expected within three months.
Defence R&D Canada’s Centre for Security Science funded the pilot with participation from Health Canada and the full cooperation of the Edmonton Transit System and police. During a news conference in Edmonton in June, Dr. Anthony Ashley of Defence R&D Canada’s Centre for Security Science said Edmonton was selected because it is a midsize city with a comprehensive public transit system ideal for testing security technology in a real-world setting.
Mobile Detect provided the standoff RadWatch gamma radiological sensors used in the pilot. When exposed to small amounts of radiation, the sensors were able to distinguish whether the radiation was of the amount and type used in nuclear medicine procedures or potentially came from an illicit source.
The gamma sensors were integrated by Cubic Security Systems into the existing Edmonton ticket vending machines supplied by Cubic Transportation Systems. Cubic also integrated the radiological sensors and its Explosives Detection Validator into the Mobile Detect central command security software backend system. The security software system has the capability to send alerts to security or law enforcement personnel via high-speed wired and wireless networks, including smartphones.
A molecularly imprinted polymer film manufactured by Raptor Detection Technologies of Baltimore was a core element of Cubic’s Explosive Detection Validator. When passengers inserted ordinary fare tickets into the validator, the machine laminated the tickets with the polymer film and returned them to passengers within a few seconds.
While the Edmonton Transit System was the first transit agency to have this equipment under test, it has drawn attention from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.