Feeds

Space age scanners headed for airports?

Inspired by bats, naturally

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

A scanning system inspired by bats could spell the end of airport metal detectors, according to the European Space Agency.

It is based on the principles of echolocation, the technique bats use to hunt in the dark. Named Tadar, after the Brazilian Tadarida bat, it uses millimetre waves to scan for concealed weapons, and can detect non metallic objects as easily as metallic ones.

Is that a bat in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me

The company behind the scanner, Farran Systems, explains that the technology was originally developed for ESA's space systems.

The scanner uses 3mm microwaves to scan people as they walk through a booth. Its sensors detect thermal energy emitted by the body as well as microwaves being reflected from objects.

Clothes become transparent, but denser objects, such as plastic explosives or other weapons, show up clearly against the background thermal image of the body. Everyday items like door keys and money will also be clearly visible as will liquids and non metallic items.

Different materials reflect the microwaves at different frequencies, and will show up in different representative colours. This will give the scan operators an idea of what kinds of materials they are dealing with.

The system can operate in both passive and active modes. When it is in passive mode, people would need to stand still to be scanned, but in active mode, it can produce a three dimensional map of a scene from a distance of up to 50m.

Tadar is being demonstrated at this week's Inter Airport Europe Exhibition in Munich. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
ALIEN BODY FOUND ON MARS: Curiosity rover snaps extraterrestrial
And NASA kept evidence to itself for over a month
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
NASA: ALIENS and NEW EARTHS will be ours inside 20 years
ETs, habitable planets will soon pop up with our new 'scopes
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.