Thwarting Skyjackers with Biometrics


Dr. Michael Recce has proposed using the biometrics technology being develop in the Smart Gun project to thwart skyjackers.

A grip detection system developed in NJIT's personalized weapons project could also be effective in preventing skyjackers from taking control of aircraft. The research team is developing a prototype "smart gun" using silicon-based piezo-electric pressure sensors embedded in the gun grip. The system can identify the user based on the unique "signature" of the individual hand during the first instant of trigger pull. On-board decision electronics and micro-mechanical systems-based actuators then react to either enable or block the firing mechanism.

Biometrics expert, Michael Recce, professor of information systems, has also applied for a patent to adapt his hand grip technology for use by airplane pilots. Since operation of modern aircraft frequently shifts between the pilot and ground controllers, Recce reasoned that the installation of his grip sensors in the cockpit controls could be achieved with relative ease because only the authenticated grips of the pilot or copilot could be programmed to operate the plane. When the pilot releases his or her grip, control of the plane would revert to the ground.