The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), recognized employee inventors and others from across DHS, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), US Coast Guard and the Office of the General Counsel who have been awarded patents by the US Patent Office for their technology advancements and inventions contributing to the homeland security mission.
“At the heart of DHS’s innovation and success are our employees. It is my honor today to recognize these inventors for their efforts to advance the homeland security mission,” said Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said. “Our inventors have shown commitment and dedication to the vision of protecting America by thinking outside the box, contributing their ideas and vision, and working in our labs and with our partners to create innovative and useful technologies. They have demonstrated that creativity and innovation are alive and well in our federal workforce.”
Mayorkas was joined by S&T Under Secretary Dr. Reginald Brothers, TSA Deputy Administrator Mark Hatfield and other DHS leadership, along with representatives from the Departments of Agriculture and Energy and US Patent and Trademark Office in recognizing 32 inventors from across DHS. Together, these individuals have invented 12 patented technologies and devices that span several areas of the homeland security mission.
From transportation-related inventions that improve screening and detection capabilities at ports and borders, to inventions that assist the US Coast Guard in air and sea rescue operations, to a foot-and-mouth disease vaccine that received the Secretary’s Exceptional Service Gold Medal in 2014, these inventions have helped to enhance the homeland security mission while adapting to current and evolving threats.
“The technologies developed by our employees that culminate in patent awards are vitally important for the Department in attracting scientific talent, and to our industry partners that commercialize these products and capabilities,” Brothers said. “I am proud to have S&T serve as the Department’s hub for innovation in helping to make a difference in our ability to do our jobs smarter, faster and with greater accuracy.”
The awardees recognized are:
Dry Transfer Method for the Preparation of Explosives Test Samples
US Patent Number: 6,470,730 – issued October 29, 2002
Robert T. Chamberlain (Transportation Security Laboratory)
Improves the quality of test samples by duplicating the way minute quantities of substances are placed on and released from surfaces like luggage handles, packages or clothing for testing. Thus, drug and explosives detector manufacturers have a quick and easy method that reliably indicates how machines will operate in real-world situations.
Method and Apparatus for Obtaining Spatial Information and Measuring the Dielectric Constant of an Object
US Patent Number: 7,378,849 – issued May 27, 2008
James C. Weatherall and Joseph A. Gatto (Transportation Security Laboratory)
Determines information aboutan unknown object or confirms information about an object, such as its composition, construction, or spatial characteristics. It is useful in detecting dangerous or potentially dangerous objects, such as weapons or explosives, at places where screening is a priority, such as airports and public buildings.
Very Thin Dosimeter Filters and Low Profile Dosimeter Incorporating the Same
US Patent Number: 7,781,747 – issued August 24, 2010
Gladys Klemic, Paul Bailey, and Cecilia Murtagh (National Urban Security Transportation Laboratory)
A wearable “card-like” dosimeter featuring two combined equilibrium and energy compensation filters that sandwich an optically stimulated luminescent material. Useful for workers and citizens in the event of radiation exposure, the device measures and records the amount of radiation and can connect to a central database or be sent to a processing center for readout.
Adenoviral Vector-based Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine
US Patent Number: 8,323,663 – issued December 4, 2012
Douglas E. Brough, Joseph T. Bruder, C. Richter King, Marvin J. Grubman, and John G. Neilan (Plum Island Animal Disease Center)
Elicits a more rapid and complete immune response against foot-and-mouth disease and prevents the adenovirus from replicating by deleting whole or partial genes needed for viral replication. This vaccine can be used as a tool to stop the spread of this highly contagious disease.
Ion Mobility Spectrometer to Mass Spectrometer Interface
US Patent Number: 8,536,518 – issued September 17, 2013
Joseph Kozole (Transportation Security Laboratory)
Uses collisional focusing to transfer ion beams of trace explosives between the mass spectrometer and the ion mobility spectrometer without distorting the beams. Explosive trace detector manufacturers can use this method and apparatus to fine-tune system performance by focusing on the precise chemical signatures unique to each kind of explosive.
Inert and Non-toxic Explosive Simulants and Method of Production
US Patent Number: 8,563,316 – issued October 22, 2013
Ronald A. Krauss, Stephen F. Duffy, and Stephen J. Goettler III (Transportation Security Laboratory)
Imitates characteristics of known explosives at the microscopic and macroscopic levels. Developers and manufacturers can use this method to safely verify the detection capabilities of X-ray-based explosives detection systems and to ensure proper calibration of screening systems, such as those used to screen airline passenger luggage.
High-volume Sampling Front-end Collection Device
US Patent Number: 8,578,796 – issued November 12, 2013
Inho Cho (Transportation Security Laboratory)
A portable, pocket-sized front-end device that can brush off particles from a surface or collect a large volume of air, as in a cargo container, capturing threat particles with a specialized system of filters. The hand-held nature of this device allows users to quickly collect samples, and the device can attach to analytical screening systems toidentify threat particles.
Quick Release Flare Tube Adapter
US Patent Number: 8,770,083 – issued July 8, 2014
Charles A. Hatfield, Thomas Morrow, Alexander Brown, Trent Meyers, and Katie Spira (US Coast Guard Academy)
An illumination flare mounting arrangement for use in an aircraft. Flares are essential in nighttime, over-water search and rescue; reconnaissance; and law enforcement missions when visibility is vital. Police, military, and para-military organization aircrews can quickly install or remove this adapter on a variety of aircraft without tools or special equipment.
Method and Device for Detecting Moving Radiation Sources
US Patent Number: 8,916,832 – issued December 23, 2014
Thomas E. Albert (Domestic Nuclear Detection Office)
Detects radioactive sources that are in motion and facilitates the rapid and accurate identification of the source of radioactive material. This invention is intended for use at seaports and border crossings that screen cargo containers, vehicles, or pedestrians for radiological or nuclear materials and in mobile radiation detectors deployed in search operations.
Buoy Split Key Removal Device
US Patent Number: 8,914,962 – issued December 23, 2014
Jessica Rozzi-Ochs, Bret Jacobson, Khiem Nagy, Erin Nolan, Evan Rice, and Sarah Troch (US Coast Guard Academy)
Utilizing a power screw that applies steady and controllable compression to the split key, the device allows USCG buoy tender crewmembers to quickly remove split keys in a safe and efficient manner. The split key is a butterflied key that holds a pin in place, connecting a chain between the buoy and a concrete block on the floor of a body of water.
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Scanning of Metal Containers Using Medium-field Technology
US Patent Number: 8,912,795 – issued December 16, 2014
Joseph S. Broz and Stephen W. Surko (Contract Laboratory)
Scans metal containers and discriminates benign liquids, such as lotions, drinks and pharmaceutical liquids, from threat liquids, such as components of homemade explosives. These advances in scanning will help the civil aviation industry, as well as other mass transportation agencies, detect liquid explosive threats.
Method for Identifying Materials Using Dielectric Properties through Active Millimeter Wave Illumination
US Patent Number: 8,946,641 – issued February 3, 2015
Barry T. Smith, James C. Weatherall, and Jeffrey B. Barber (Transportation Security Laboratory)
Helps detect concealed explosives, narcotics, weapons and other contraband based on the reflected radiation returned from the body of an inspected subject. This screening method is noninvasive and does not require contact as the millimeter waves can penetrate clothing and distinguish benign materials from contraband.