X-ray free airport body scanners tested at Sydney Airport

By danwarne, July 27 2011
X-ray free airport body scanners tested at Sydney Airport

Sydney and Melbourne airports have played host to a demo of new type of security scanner that claims to transmit absolutely nothing, and only receive emissions from the body.

The new technology senses TeraHertz waves "emitted by all people and all things" and is capable of detecting metals, plastics, ceramics, liquids, gels and powders.

The scanners can monitor people moving through areas naturally rather than having to stand still in a special spot.
The scanners can monitor people moving through areas naturally rather than having to stand still in a special spot.

A local company selling the UK-developed system, Aviation & Logistics Security Solutions, says the new scanners also ensure dignity and privacy for passengers.

Australian airports have so far avoided the introduction of controversial millimetre wave or backscatter x-ray scanners that are prevalent in the US.

Such scanners have attracted the ire of travellers and even airline pilots for undue exposure to harmful radiation and for displaying their body to screeners as a 'naked' image.

Australian airports did get x-ray scanners recently as part of a 12 month trial, but they will only be used for people who are strongly suspected of carrying drugs that they've swallowed, and even then, it will be the suspect's choice whether to be x-rayed or have an examination in hospital.

Backscatter X-ray scanners are also used in some local ports but only to scan bottles of liquid.

The new TeraHertz scanner, TS4, is likely to be used to augment existing security screening technologies such as metal detection gates and particle-detecting test strips.


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