Safety & Security Category Winner
- Thursday, 10 November 2011
AquaSonus Passive-Sonar Pool Alarm
William C. Roberts, Bob Hoenig, and Paula Bailey,
AquaSonus.com, Merrimack, NH
Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children, and most drownings occur in residential swimming pools. The majority of pool alarms are based on water displacement technology. This technology relies on the waves that result from a child falling into the pool reaching the alarm’s trigger mechanism to sound an alarm. This approach results in a product that responds slowly and is prone to false alarm.
The AquaSonus Passive-Sonar System is based on
state-of-the-art digital signal
processing. The system
consists of two separate
units that communicate
via a wireless RF link.
The poolside unit is
installed at the edge of
the pool and extends into
the water. The portion of
the unit below the surface
of the water contains a
hydro phone. It monitors
the acoustic sounds that
are present in the pool. A
microprocessor in the
poolside unit digitizes these acoustic signals and analyzes
them using software that implements a proprietary digital signal
processing algorithm. When the acoustic signature of a
child or a pet is detected, an alarm sounds. The poolside unit
is battery powered.
“We hope to catch the attention of an organization that recognizes the impact that our technology could have on drowning prevention in residential swimming pools.”
The second unit is a monitor that resides inside the house. When an alarm condition is detected, the poolside unit informs the monitor via the RF link, and an alarm sounds inside the house as well as outside. In addition, the monitor displays the battery condition and overall “health” of the poolside unit via an LED display. The monitor is via a small wallplug power supply, and has battery backup capability in the event of a power failure.
The market for this class of product is large. There are approximately 10.2 million residential in-ground swimming pools worldwide; 5.2 domestic and 5.0 million international. This product is intended for any pool owner who recognizes the inherent hazard associated with pool ownership, and the risk of child drowning.
For more information, visit http://contest.techbriefs.com/component/content/article/1625.
Bill Forshey, Kalamazoo, MI
Rather than a purely mechanical device like most currently used tamper seals, BeaconSeal uses a microcontroller, electronic circuitry, fiber optics, RFID technology, and custom embedded firmware to add additional levels of security and cargo tracking information.
The BeaconSeal uses an armored optical fiber cable to create a security loop. The device includes a flashing green LED to indicate when the tag is properly sealed. If a break in the security loop is detected, the unit will go into a permanent and irrevocable alarm condition, flashing a red LED pattern continuously. Once activated, the LEDs will flash for approximately the six-month life of the batteries embedded in the unit. The device is designed for one time use and must be removed by the use of cable or bolt cutters.
For more information, visit http://contest.techbriefs.com/component/content/article/1257.
An SCBA with Integral Heat Stress Relief
Harold Gier, Niwot, CO
The SuperCritical Air Mobility Pack
(SCAMP) provides breathing air
and full-body cooling for hazardous
materials workers, firefighters, and
industry. In addition to providing
the air supply, SCAMP solves the
problem of heat stress in workers in
impermeable suits and/or hot environments.
Using ultra-cold (cryogenic) technology, SCAMP
has reduced the weight of the breathing air supply while
providing cooling at the same time.
The SCAMP supplies a one-hour breathing/cooling apparatus in a package weighing less than 30 pounds. The air is stored in a dewar at -320 ºF. When it leaves the dewar for breathing, it passes though a heat exchanger where it warms up to breathable temperature and simultaneously cools the antifreeze solution circulating around the user’s body in the cooling suit.
For more information, visit http://contest.techbriefs.com/component/content/article/1644.