Engineering professor develops
enhanced X-ray technology
One tool for a more vigilant nation is being developed by Raghuveer
Rao, Gleason professor of electrical engineering. Rao is working on
state-of-the-art image-enhancement technology that benefits counter-terrorism,
border patrol, law enforcement and medicine.
"We are poised to see image capture, enhancement and automatic-recognition
technologies become indispensable tools in crime prevention and other
areas in coming years," Rao asserts.
Software being developed by Rao filters out unwanted information from
X-ray, radar and infrared images, enhancing desired detail in resulting
high-resolution images. Using backscatter and transmission X-ray equipment
to sharpen images, police and airport security officers can better see
concealed weapons; border-patrol agents may discover people hiding in
the trunks of cars; and, using through-the-wall radar surveillance in hostage situations, SWAT teams will be able to detect
movement and even breathing.
high-resolution X-ray image sharpened using technology developed
In controlled environments, such as courthouses and airports, the new
technology will supplement existing de
vices such as metal detectors. In uncontrolled situations such as crowds,
the technology will provide information-gathering capability well beyond
that of the unaided human eye.
Rao's project was listed among "25 Ways to Fight Terrorism" in the
February issue of Prism, the magazine of the American Society for Engineering
Education. The technology also has important potential applications
in medicine. For instance, the software could improve tumor detection.
Testing in working situations is being conducted and Rao says project sponsors have received numerous inquiries in the aftermath of Sept. 11. Funding came from the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Air Force Research Lab. Private support came from American Science and Engineering Inc., Massachusetts, and Pixel Physics Inc. of Rochester. Other partners include Analysis and Simulation Inc., ITT Industries Inc. and Stiefvater Consultants Inc.