Police at Virginia capitol will test threat detection tech

Hexwave technology from Liberty Defense uses low-power and radar and AI to detect weapons in crowds. (Liberty Defense)

Police for Virginia’s historic capitol in Richmond will beta test low-power radar imaging and AI to detect weapons and other threats at the perimeter of the capital grounds. The new technology from Liberty Defense Holdings, called Hexwave, will be integrated live with existing sophisticated security systems, the company and police said.

It will enable security teams to detect threats at the perimeter of the capitol grounds without obstructing the movements of large groups of people. Extending the space for detection will effectively widen the security perimeter, giving security teams more time to manage threats, the company said in a statement.

Virginia Capitol Police will test Hexwave live in tandem with existing security procedures, Chief Anthony Pike confirmed. The system “may become the means by which we secure important facilities in the future,” he said.

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Beta testing is expected to start later in 2019 and last into 2020. Alpha testing has been done at Liberty’s laboratory in Atlanta. Other beta tests are being conducted at an arena in Munich, Germany, and at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, as well as for the state of Utah and Sleiman shopping centers.

Liberty Defense uses an exclusive license from MIT for patents related to active 3D radar imaging technology used in Hexwave. The sensors with active 3D radar imaging and AI-enhanced automatic detection are designed to detect metallic and non-metallic firearms, knives, explosives, suicide vests and other threats.

In a video on its website, Hexwave sensors are shown hidden in signs and walls to detect threatening objects secreted on people moving through a crowd.

The Capitol Police secure the capitol building designed by Thomas Jefferson, the third U.S. president, and the nearby Virginia Executive Mansion, the oldest executive residence in the U.S.

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