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'Tamper-Evident Container' Will Snitch if Anyone Tries to Meddle with What's Inside

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A fully integrated Tamper-Evident Container with its lid open to display its electronics. The unit's features include: (1) an electrically non-conductive mechanical housing; (2) electrically conductive traces in the housing walls; (3) battery compartment,

Credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory

A team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) three-dimensionally (3D)-printed a prototype Tamper-Evident Container (TEC) designed to record attempts to break into it.

"The idea here was to build a protective sensing network all the way around the container," said LANL's John Bernardin.

A fiber-optic cable network fills the TEC's outermost wall, while a pulsing light source monitors for tampering via a photodetector.

When something cuts the sensor network and breaks the flow of light, a microcontroller starts recording the interruption and alerts authorized recipients of possible tampering.

LANL's Alexandria Marchi said 3D-printing the TEC allows customization for whatever article is to be protected, and also creates individualized sensor patterns.

From Popular Mechanics
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