Brooks Seals introduces fiber-optic lock

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Brooks Seals describes its Fiber Lock as a tamper-indicative seal designed for the storage and transport of nuclear, biochemical and other hazardous materials.

The lock consists of a seal bundle constructed of randomly positioned, acrylic optical fibers; and a digital image verifier, a specially modified camera that is encased within a protective, hardened plastic housing. Once the seal has been applied correctly to a sensitive security load, the seal body is inserted into a slot in the verifier’s housing; the verifier then records an close-up photograph of the severed ends of the fiber-optic bundle. Each individual fiber-optic strand is as unique to that seal installation as fingerprints are to an individual person. The digital imagery of the bundle can be forwarded electronically to the shipment’s destination, or it can be filed.

Upon the shipment’s arrival or at any point along its route, the seal can be inspected visually for any sign of tampering by shining a flashlight to one end of the fiber bundle; if the remaining bundle is illuminated brightly, it is an indication that the seal is intact. At the shipment’s final destination, the bundle is reverified by comparing the digital image with the electronically forwarded image. If the images are identical, the seal has not been compromised and no unauthorized access has occurred; but if they are different, then tampering has taken place.

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