NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 A1.03-9085
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Technologies for Improved Aviation Security
PROPOSAL TITLE: Aggregating Secondary Source Data for Air Cargo Prescreening

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
FETCH TECHNOLOGIES
2041 Rosecrans, Suite 245
El Segundo, CA 90245-4789
(310)414-9849

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Steven Minton
Minton@Fetch.com
2041 Rosecrans, Suite 245
El Segundo, CA 90245-4789
(310)414-9849

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
We propose to improve the effectiveness of air cargo prescreening by
enabling background knowledge about companies and products to be used
for threat assessment. The Transportation Security Administration's
(TSA) current approach for pre-screening air cargo shipments is based
primarily on the Known Shipper Program, which has several
shortcomings. By combining sophisticated data extraction and
integration technology with state-of-the-art data mining capabilities,
threat assessment rules can be developed to help identify high-risk
cargo. However, threat assessment relies on having data about the
entities being assessed. In this project, we propose to develop novel
data aggregation methods to automatically gather information about
companies and products from corporate web sites, business directories,
and other internet sources. We can then augment primary data sources
(cargo manifest, database of past cargo shipments, package
characteristics such as weight and volume) with additional background
data (shipper and receiver information, shippable goods information)
to perform threat assessment, and thereby route high-risk cargo for
additional inspection. The use of this background data has great
potential to significantly improve the ability of the TSA to detect
vulnerabilities that may arise in the shipment of air cargo to, from,
and within the United States.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The potential NASA Commercial Application that will be enabled by this technology is the development of an air cargo pre-screening application. The technology produced in this proposal allows for the creation of a massive database of corporate and product information. This data, in conjunction with historical data on cargo manifests, provides a very rich dataset for data mining purposes. A threat assessment application that uses this dataset, in conjunction with the results of the data mining, will be a highly effective tool for pre-screening air cargo shipments.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
The technology developed under this proposal has clear commercial value. We have existing customers using our web aggregation technology for market intelligence and competitive intelligence applications. Many of these customers have explicitly expressed their interest in unsupervised, site-independent approaches for collecting product data and corporate data via the web. In addition the technology is of direct importance to companies such as Dun & Bradstreet that currently aggregate corporate data using time-consuming, manual methods.