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American Science & Engineering Inc. Message Board

  • burtmail burtmail Jun 20, 2005 4:50 PM Flag

    Keep In The Back of Your Mind

    that the federal government, especially the Defense Department and the Homeland Security Dept. have vested interest in rosy data analysis...Once again I am not here to besmirch asei in which I still hold a position (because I expect excellent sales)...Here is a link to an all too typical way that, in this case the defense department, massages test data and refuses to own up to such charges:
    http://www-tech.mit.edu/V124/N58/58missile.58n.html
    That is why I worried when I saw the ABC report on cargo inspection and why I worry that equipment purchases by TSA are not based on testing that assures system efficacy.

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    • RTN sold a lot of patriot missles. It took several years for the program to be scrapped. The analogy of Homeland Security and DOD is not valid though. The govt has known that metal detectors were vastly inferior to existing technologies for 15 years. Yet they continue to buy. If the govt spends a billion dollars on backscatter scanner for airports they will not remove the machines because they are inferior to technology that is available.

    • Burt, thanks for the links. I spend time each day "getting up to speed" on this holding. I am mindful that Fabiano said they had hired additional engineers and scientists; this, to me, is a harbinger of good things to come. I have VERY high expectations for this company; I think they have just begun to scratch the surface for applications. Cargo will be huge imho.

    • I agree with your approach and you are likely to see success here for it...I never intended my worry to be more than a background thing for discussion, perhaps some wariness of future publicity...ASEI has a whole string of patents and employees and consultants at the forefront of z-backscatter research and its extentions. They are already working on enhanced cargo detection. The following patent application is by two scientists associated with(I think Rothschild is an employee of) ASEI:
      http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fneta
      html%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PG01&s1=%22cargo+inspection
      %22&OS=%22cargo+inspection%22&RS=%22cargo+inspection%22

      This is a recent patent application and you might cruise through the "Background..." section. No need to understand all the physics, just that there is a need to push forward and ASEI is doing just that...Best of luck to you.

    • Burt, I'll bet that happens more than one would think. Just take a look at the drug companies; I don't invest there because I have no way of knowing the efficacy of the products. When they are re-analyzed they really tumble!!! I do think that there has been ample opportunity to "test" the backscatter technology, and while I'm sure it will be superseded in some variation at some point, it appears that some very heavy hitters are impressed. I don't have a science background - I am only amalgamating as much information as I can and evaluating it on that basis. Rummy said, "We go to war with what we have" - in a sense I think that's what DHS has to do. Of course, sales are the final "arbiter" in the investment world - the last half of this year should be revealing.

    • One of many examples of what I mean: Raytheon made the Patriot missile used in the first Gulf War. The first Pres. Bush visited Raytheon to cheer on all the engineers and scientists there and thank them for the wonderful product. Field data had showed, generally, excellent interception results on the scuds fired by Iraq. Product commended by Secy of Defense, etc. etc....However, the data was re-analyzed. It is generally agreed that the data was never properly analyzed at first and the Patriot was finally deemed an inferior product.

    • http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/interapp/testimony/testimony_0036.xml


      Read Chertoff's testimony. He addresses these reports and DHS objectives with technology very well.

      Read the testimony--all of it.

      • 1 Reply to bengrahamvalueinvestor
      • Chertoff is a lawyer/judge. No expertise in physics or data analysis...I remain suspicious in the way I mentioned recently...Having said that, I would add that scientists affiliated with asei, such as retired MIT Physics professor Lee Grodzins are at the forefront of efforts to extend the x-ray backscatter techniques to improve the detection of "dirty bomb material." These methods are detailed in more recent patent applications than are presently applied in current asei machinery. So I am an investor in asei for the long term, but repeat my concerns about the possible shortcomings of present machinery which may be publicized (hopefully not in unfortunate or even tragic circumstances.)...Incidentally my messages have all applied to cargo container inspection. The "flying spot x-ray backscatter" machinery of asei (Peter Rosthschild and others) is, in my opinion, the coming personal detection system.

 
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