Sandia Labs developing security seal to detect tampering

Jason Hamlet wth the Sandia Security Seal. | Courtesy of Sandia national Laboratories
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) has announced the development of a security seal that is able to detect when a container and its contents has been tampered with.

The lab stated that the SecuritySeal is available for licensing as it is a part of the Transition to Practice program under the Department of Homeland Security. The program allows broader use of technology that has been developed through federal funding and national labs. The SecuritySeal prototype is roughly the size of a credit card and is able to act a seal for cargo containers, researchers state that they can be made smaller or larger to suit multiple types of containers.

A large driver for this research is the need for tools to determine if a container has been tampered with, specifically those that contain dismantled components of weapons of mass destruction including those that are chemical or nuclear in nature.

“In nonproliferation treaties, a weapon system is dismantled and the component parts are stored in different containers,” SNL electronics engineer Todd Bauer said. “How do you know without continuous visual surveillance that no one has gone into the containers? This tool can remotely monitor treaty compliance with assurance.”

The seal's technology is based upon electrical inconsistencies that come about in the manufacturing process and uses physical, unclonable function (PUF) measurements and detects whether the measurement has changed due to the container being opened.

The next stage would be finding commercialization partners for the device. Bauer and Jason Hamlet led the project. 

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Sandia National Laboratories 7011 East Ave Livermore, CA 94550

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