New scanners for weapons detection

New scanners using a technology developed at the U.S. DOE's Pacific Northwest National Lab are about to appear at airports. The scanning process lasts only 1.5 second and produces a holographic image of the individual’s body and any objects he or she is hiding. But don't be afraid: there is a privacy mode!

According to InfoWorld TechWatch, new scanners using a technology developed at the U.S. DOE's Pacific Northwest National Lab are about to appear at airports. The scanning process lasts only 1.5 second and produces on a computer screen a holographic image of the individual’s body and any objects he or she is hiding. But don't be afraid: there is a privacy mode, which can blur some parts of your body, such as your chest or rear. These scanners will be deployed not only in airports, but also in prisons, military caps and at vorder crossings.

Here are the opening paragraphs from the InfoWorld article called "Total Recall body scanner becomes reality."

Replete with a privacy algorithm to hide "the important [body] parts," no not your brain, the vice president of operations of SafeView, Karen Meyer, gave me the rundown on the Scout 100 and Scout 360 people scanners.
This baby is much closer to the scanner in the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Total Recall than the current generation of two-dimensional x-ray scanners.

Below is a picture of the Safescout 360 model (Credit: SafeView).

The Safescout 360 model

Here is link to an article from Congressional Quarterly Homeland Security, "Fabulous: When Fashion Sense Meets Security Needs," which gives more details about these scanners.

The SafeScout portal looks like a small revolving door, minus the actual doors. Inside there are speakers and video cameras, allowing security personnel to communicate with the individual from a remote location.
The airline passenger, border crosser or prison entrant steps inside and, in the case of one model, the entrance and exit doors close automatically. A pair of vertical bars positioned between two layers of glass swing 360 degrees and then stop.
That was the 1.5-second scan. A second later, a holographic image of the individual’s body and any objects he or she is hiding appears on a computer screen.

InfoWorld adds that these scanners allow to scan 400 people per hour.

For more information about these scanners, here are two links to the datasheets of the SafeScout 100™ and the SafeScout 360™.

And if you want more details about the active millimeter wave scanning technology developed by the U.S. DOE's Pacific Northwest National Lab, here is a short news release from the lab, Screening for security.

You also should read a technical paper called "Concealed explosive detection on personnel using a wideband holographic millimeter-wave imaging system." Here is a link to this document (PDF format, 11 pages, 736 KB).

Sources: Ephraim Schwartz, InfoWorld TechWatch, November 22, 2005; Zack Phillips, Congressional Quarterly Homeland Security, June 17, 2005; and various web sites

You'll find related stories by following the links below.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All