Sunday, May 31, 2009

Polaris Wireless Deploys 50 Meter Mass Wireless Intercept Location Solution

Polaris Wireless, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, introduced a mass wireless intercept location application that is capable of pinpointing the precise location of all mobile devices in a network to an accuracy within 50 meters. This would enable intelligence agencies and Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) to locate millions of handsets in real time or for a period of time in the past.

"Most intelligence and law enforcement agencies already have the capability to intercept wireless communications during criminal investigations but lack the ability to accurately track the locations of handsets sending and receiving transmissions or map wireless activity on a mass scale," said Manlio Allegra, President and CEO, Polaris Wireless. "Working within the local laws of individual countries, high-accuracy mass intercept location technology allows law enforcement agencies to analyze wireless activity before, during and after an event, helping them put together an accurate timeline of events, identify suspects and gather additional evidence for criminal investigations."

The ability to map and analyze wireless activity on a mass scale gives LEAs a more detailed picture of a crime scene, including who was present, what wireless activity was being conducted and where all handsets were located at any given time. For example, if a bomb goes off in the downtown area of a major metropolitan area, LEAs would be able to identify and analyze wireless activity just before the bomb went off and then track the movements of the handsets that sent and received transmissions in the immediate aftermath. Using this information to map wireless activity around the blast zone, responding personnel would be better equipped to take swift action to identify and apprehend the suspects before they flee. Criminal investigators would also have a significant advantage when gathering evidence and eyewitness accounts from a chaotic crime scene.

Currently, some lawful intercept solutions rely on Cell-ID/Enhanced Cell-ID (ECID) or Assisted GPS (A-GPS) to determine handset location. However, these technologies neither provide the accuracy necessary to deliver actionable information nor can they be used to reliably track handsets on a mass scale. ECID uses crude location information from cell towers to determine location to within several hundred meters or a few city blocks--not accurate enough to be useful in criminal investigations. A-GPS is not any more accurate or reliable given its limitations in critically important urban and indoor environments. Additionally, it can be easily disabled or jammed on handsets.

The Polaris Wireless solution uses Polaris Wireless Location Signatures (Polaris WLSTM) technology to quickly and reliably determine handset location to an accuracy within 50 meters. Like a fingerprint's pattern of lines and swirls, a location can be identified by a unique set of values including measurements of neighboring cell signal strengths, time delays and other network parameters. The Polaris WLS solution collects this information and uses it to match incoming signals to an extensive database of values to determine highly accurate handset location--regardless of the type of environment.

Polaris Wireless is also working on adding advanced analytical techniques to its high accuracy, mass intercept location solution. The advanced analytics, in conjunction with high accuracy, will help narrow suspect lists, eliminate false leads and focus criminal investigations in an effective and efficient manner. When used in accordance with local laws, predictive intelligence can arm LEAs with the information they need to prevent criminal activity before it occurs. As the Polaris WLS mass intercept system continues to be populated with larger volumes of raw and analytical data over time, the quality of actionable intelligence will simply continue to improve.


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