28 July 2009
I took these photos of this device in Washington DC Metro Center in downtown WDC. Any idea what this thing might be? I think it is a radiation or CBW detector. Otherwise I have no clue. The Metro employees did not notice me taking them. Answers to cryptome[at]earthlink.net
Cryptome asked an installer about similar devices in Penn Station, NYC. "For killing rats," he grinned. The device was in a heavily-trafficked area, floor-stationed, mobile, chained to the wall, about two years ago, not there now. Others seen around the city in busy places.
Responses to the detector photos above:
A1. Intriguing photos you have there. I haven't a clue myself, but this much I can say with some confidence -- it's not for killing rats. The power supply unit is commonly available (Google psu676) and generates 0-30 volts. Definitely not enough for killing rats! Whatever it is, I'm guessing it's meant to detect very low-energy EM radiation. The two horizontal bars, which appear to be aluminum, are short, and extremely thick. This suggests they're designed as detectors, not as antennas. They are also short, which means that for communications purposes they would not be good for anything except possibly picking AM radio signals or something in an adjacent range -- that is, unless they are meant to detect magnetic fields or possibly radioactive materials. The vertical tube with 'hat' has what appears to be a coaxial cable plug on the side, between the two parallel bars, suggesting it can (but need not necessarily) deliver data directly; hence one assumes it uses wireless communications technology, if any. The 'hat' suggests the vertical tube needs to be vented for some reason. So if it is a security device of some kind, it might be a bomb-sniffer, since sniffing technology would have to allow for air circulation to dectect small concentrations of explosive substances. The fact that the device is mounted on a high-traffic overpass, right next to the flow of bodies, might also tend to confirm this. Then again, I could be wrong. Maybe it's just a device to detect the frequency of subway arrivals and departures!
A2. On the sniffing device: There's one chained up outside the front door of my local police precinct (NYC 25th Precinct). Will try to get a pix the next time I go by. It's marked with a sticker identifying it as part of the air survey, I think:
A3. Those things are just air samplers, as far as I know. I asked a guy servicing one once what it was and what he was finding; he remarked "brake dust." Now, what's interesting is that there's one of these things on the DC Mall, next to the carousel in front of the Arts & Industries Building. Mmmmm. :)
The devices appear to be continuous flow air samples from Hi-Q Environmental Products Company of San Diego, California:
A device similar to the one photographed on your front page was located near the New Jersey Transit ticket counter in NYC's Penn Station in late March 2009. It had New York Department of Environmental Protection stickers on it:
Presumably records relating to this device would be available via the New York State Freedom of Information Law:
I took photos two years ago in London when the British Government conducted tests to see how air flowed and dispersed in an area. streets & underground stations ( in case of a terrorist attack ) I have sent these photos as the machine in London and that on your website look very much alike.
Do you think that the concentrated and captive mechanical urban environment runs an elevated and recognised asbestosis risk, hence the devices to confirm the findings/suspicions?