About the

AVIAN Heartbeat Detector™



The Advanced Vehicle Interrogation And Notification System detects the presence of persons hidden in vehicles. Using the data from seismic sensors that are placed on the vehicle, the AVIAN reads the shock wave generated by the beating heart, which couples to any surface or object with which the body is in contact. It collects the data and analyzes them using advanced signal processing algorithms to detect a hidden person in less than two minutes.



The AVIAN System has been in on site the Ellis Unit location since February of 1998. The Officers at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice help demonstrate how the AVIAN system is used.

Inspecting a vehicle

Once the vehicle arrives, the driver turns the engine off and exits the truck. The officers place the sensors on the vehicle. It is important to position the sensors on a flat metal surface on the vehicle's frame. This is a large 4-axle vehicle with a full load, so all four sensors are used.


Once the sensors are in place, the officer presses the 4-axle button on the screen of the AVIAN computer. There are four vehicle icons that initiate AVIAN’s vehicle inspection process. The red dots underneath each vehicle icon indicate the minimum number of sensors that must be used on a vehicle of this type.

There is only one screen to deal with and, because the operation is touch-screen, AVIAN is easy to learn and easy to use. The graphs indicate the frequency and strength of the vibration. The numbers and bars on the left mark the relative strength of the vibration. The results of the data are displayed on the top right corner of the screen and in the blue message box at the bottom of the screen.

The initial test indicates a pass, so Officer Armstrong demonstrates what happens if there is a person on board. The AVIAN system detects him easily and issues the "search" indicator. When the testing is done, the sensors automatically reel back into their case and the vehicle can pass. From start to finish, the process can take less than four minutes.