How does TESC work? The seal itself known as the Container Security Device (CSD)uses a wireless "Hall effect" sensor to tell whether anyone has attempted to open the container and, if so, whether that effort succeeded. A subset of Bluetooth, known as "Bluetooth Lite," is used to transmit secure "challenge/response interrogations" between the CSD and two types of reader hardware: a handheld reader device and a fixed reader. The information travels at more than 3G bps. The fixed readers will typically be mounted in two places: at entrances to port facilities and on truck cranes at port exits.GE took its first steps into the cargo container business in the middle of last year, Petrizzi said. The company is entering this emerging security space from markets ranging from home protection to airport explosives detection. GE asked Unisys to help out in the TESC testing, said Tom Conaway, Unisys managing partner of Homeland Security, during another interview. Unisys, a top player in cargo security, was already providing the IT infrastructure around reader hardware that GE has been using internally at port shipping facilities. Whats in store for the supply chain in 2005? Read Jacqueline Emighs predictions here. Along with customers such as Motorola Inc., Unisys recently took part in four projects conducted as part of the U.S. Transport Security Associations Operation Safe Commerce. "One of the things were looking at is various types of sensorsfor detecting hazardous materials, for GPS [geographic positioning systems] and so forthand how these might be incorporated into secure containers," Conaway told eWEEK.com. If Unisys does move into this particular market, it will probably be through partners, he said. But unlike the Hall effect sensors used in TESC, other sorts of sensor technologies arent quite ready yet for commercial deployment, according to Conaway. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news and analysis of enterprise supply chains.
"We tested 18 containers, and all 18 operated properly," Petrizzi said. GE and its partners actually opened one of the containers, to make sure the attack would be reported to the readers.