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  1. Science and Technology Directorate
  2. News Room
  3. S&T Awards Funds for Developing Detection Algorithms for Securing Soft Targets

News Release: DHS S&T Awards Funds to Overland Park, KS, Startup Developing Detection Algorithms for Securing Soft Targets

Release Date: November 10, 2022

S&T Public Affairs, 202-254-2385

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced a Phase 1 Other Transaction award of $199,833 to Flux Tensor, an Overland Park, KS-based company, to apply algorithms that help identify motion in complex videos. Specifically, the award is for flexible object detection algorithms (based on persistent flux analysis (pFlux)) to identify motion of interest from complicated security video feeds. The goal of this project is to offer a layer of safety for those locations that enable quick, effective action in the event an unknown threat presents itself.

Under its Securing Soft Targets solicitation, S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) sought solutions that automatically detect anomalous events via video camera feeds; reduce error to optimize human performance; and minimize delay to enhance responsiveness in threat situations that could serve a shared mission among schools, sports venues, transportation systems, shopping venues, places of worship and the general public.

“Monitoring motion in soft targets is difficult in large areas where changes in light and weather can impact video quality,” said Melissa Oh, managing director of SVIP. “Technologies that enhance real-time monitoring in situations where visibility is low due to environmental constraints will improve responders’ ability to maintain security in and around soft target venues.”

Flux Tensor’s technology provides a flexible object detection approach to determine “persistent change” while accounting for changing weather, light variations, or poor video quality in near real time. Once developed, the software will integrate with current security workflows to detect objects in motion.

“Mass transit, on average, carries nearly 10 times as many passengers per day as the nation’s busiest airports. With limited checkpoints for screening passengers and their belongings, our program is pursuing innovative technologies to enhance physical security and situational awareness at venues,” said Ali Fadel, program manager, DHS S&T Soft Targets Security Program. “Utilizing advanced algorithms to identify and alert security personnel to left behind items—in near real-time—will allow them to quickly respond to dangerous events and clear harmless left-behind items. The intent is to integrate security solutions within a broader layered architecture to better protect commuters, riders, and families using public transportation systems or attending a mass gathering—all without impacting the speed of the traveling public.”

DHS is committed to using cutting-edge technologies and scientific talent in its quest to make America safer. Soft targets are easily accessible to large numbers of people and have limited security or protective measures in place making them vulnerable to attack.


Last Updated: 11/10/2022
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