CAR thieves: beware. Jimmying a lock or punching out an ignition switch to start and steal a car may soon be fruitless activities. If a new, Livermore-developed locking system were installed in the next car you tried to steal, you would find your theft next to impossible. After jimmying the lock, you would be faced with a fiber-optic cable activated only by a specially coded beam of light. Even if you punched out the ignition switch, an identical cable would prevent the engine from starting. Forget hot-wiring; the fiber-optic system would protect not only the door lock but also the ignition system, fuel pump, and starter.|
Lawrence Livermore's Bob Clough, Karla Hagans, Richard Main, and Bob Stoddard from Defense and Nuclear Technologies and Engineering directorates developed this novel system (Figure 1, above). The researchers designed the optoelectronic-mechanical lock and key to secure military systems from theft and unauthorized operation, but soon the Light Lock Optical Security System could be used anywhere conventional mechanical locks are used.
A Laser Beam Does the Job
Computer Data Locked Up Tight|
Light Lock can be used not only in place of mechanical locks but also like a password for data access control. A slot in a computer keyboard could accept a Light Lock key or card to activate a lock imbedded in the system. If the key were removed, the terminal would automatically lock up. A key could be "tethered" to an operator so that the operator could not leave a terminal without removing the key. This setup would eliminate unauthorized access to an unattended terminal.
Because Light Lock can transmit information about the authorized key user, an audit trail could be established using the access code and the operator code. Using the computer system's time and date information, each transaction, modification, or access could be stamped and saved. Operator codes in the Light Lock key could also determine levels of access to an application or to a collection of files.
Key Words: fiber-optic systems, laser systems, Light Lock Optical Security System, optoelectronic-mechanical locks, security systems.
For further information contact Robert Stoddard (925) 422-4877 (firstname.lastname@example.org).