Feeds

Space age scanners headed for airports?

Inspired by bats, naturally

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Kip Thorne explains how he created the black hole for Interstellar
Movie special effects project spawns academic papers on gravitational lensing
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
Moment of truth for LOHAN's servos: Our US allies are poised for final test flight
Will Vulture 2 freeze at altitude? Edge Research Lab to find out
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.