Feeds

Space age scanners headed for airports?

Inspired by bats, naturally

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
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.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.