• Full-body scanning for the shy

    The Transportation and Security Administration will soon launch Full Body Scanning 2.0 at several New York area airports; the new software, known as Automated Target Recognition (ATR), will auto-detect items that could pose a potential threat that passengers might be carrying under their clothes, but the suspicous items will be shown against a generic outline of a person for all passengers

  • Old fashioned methods best for detecting IEDs

    U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq have resorted to an old method to detect improvised explosive devices (IEDs); using long poles with hooks on the end, troops feel around in the dirt to detect any IEDs

  • WWII bombs still plague Germany

    For one bomb squad in Germany the Second World War never ended; members of Germany’s War Ordnance Disposal Service are racing against time to locate and safely defuse the hundreds of thousands of unexploded bombs dropped by Allied war planes that still litter the country

  • Airport explosive detection machines not up to regulation

    A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report reveals that airports around the United States have failed to meet federal requirements for explosives detection systems and government regulators have done little to enforce them

  • Animal kingdom's alternatives to full-body scanners

    A typical full-body scanner costs upward of $150,000, and critics maintain that for this high price-tag we get a detection system which is not fool-proof and which may be risky for our health; they point out that experience in IED diction in Iraq and Afghanistan shows that dogs are superior to scanners in detecting explosives — and that they are much cheaper ($8,500 for a dog plus training) and do not pose any health risk; some researchers say that mice and bees are even better bomb sniffers than dogs

  • Sensors printed on wetsuits detect explosives, other hazards

    UC Sand Diego researcher has successfully printed thick-film electrochemical sensors directly on flexible wetsuit material, paving the way for nano devices to detect underwater explosives or ocean contamination; UCSD has a full U.S. patent pending on the technology, and has begun talks on licensing the system to a Fortune 500 company

  • TSA could begin searching for explosives hidden inside you

    Government intelligence officials are now warning airlines that terrorists could be using surgically implanted explosives to bypass security measures; there is no information regarding a specific plot or threat, but airlines could begin to implement additional screening procedures as the current body scanners cannot effectively detect bombs hidden inside an individual; last year, al Qaeda operatives in Iraq implanted two dogs with explosives, but the dogs died before they could loaded onto a U.S.-bound plane

  • New airport scanner can detect liquid explosives

    Passengers boarding airplanes could soon be walking through security checkpoints carrying liquids once more thanks to a high tech scanner capable of detecting liquid explosives; the device, developed by U.K. based Kromek, is capable of identifying dangerous liquids within seconds and does not require the container to be opened

  • Documents reveal TSA ignored dangers of body scanners

    The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) says that is has official documents that reveal the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) deliberately ignored warnings that airport body scanners pose a health risk; the internal documents and email exchanges show that TSA officials brushed aside concerns that employees raised after noticing that a large number of workers had cancer, strokes, and heart disease after working near the body scanners

  • Navy funds development of new explosives detection technology

    The Navy recently awarded researchers at Texas Tech University a four year $1.2 million grant to develop a more effective method to detect explosive materials; the project is spearheaded by four Texas Tech professors specializing in chemical engineering; one professor explained, “In layman’s terms, basically we’re trying to enhance detection for explosives”

  • Mud triggers Logan alarm

    Scanning machines at Logan Airport detected minute traces of nitrates in a checked luggage, and sounded the alarm; two gates were evacuated as a precaution; police found that the nitrates emanated from mud sample a Honk Kong University doctoral student was carrying in the luggage; the samples were to be used in research

  • Airport Checkpoint of the Future unveiled

    Attendees of the 67th annual Air Transport Association (IATA) annual meeting and World Air Transport Summit in Singapore got a first look at a prototype version of the airport security Checkpoint of the Future; the prototype checkpoint is specifically designed to allow passengers to pass through without having to remove their shoes or get patted down; to make travelling more pleasant and less invasive, the new security checkpoint is outfitted with a suite of sophisticated sensors including eye scanners, x-rays, and metal and liquid detectors

  • New detection system uses ultraviolet light to spot explosives

    More than 625 million travelers will take to the air before 2011 is over; the passengers’ carry-on luggage and checked baggage are screened for explosives — but University of Florida researchers say there is a better way to do so; the UF scientists say they have developed the first explosive detection system in the world that utilizes ultraviolet light to zero in on specks of dangerous explosives found in and on luggage; the explosives detection market is estimated to exceed $3 billion in the U.S. alone

  • Bomb sniffing dogs deployed to Long Island ferry

    A New York ferry company has become the first in the United States to receive federal grants to pay for the deployment of explosive detection canine teams; the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company is teaming up with Long Island K-9 service to use bomb sniffing dogs to detect any explosives aboard the ferries; the canine teams will inspect every car that enters the ferry; teams were initially deployed on 13 May and the contract will last for three years

  • Scientists continue to raise doubts about safety of full body scanners

    The controversy over the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) body scanners lingers on as scientists continue to question the safety of these devices that expose millions of people to trace amounts of radiation; TSA officials maintain that their full body x-ray scanners are safe as they only expose individuals to negligible amounts of radiation, the equivalent of two minutes of flying; despite these assurances, a group of five scientists recently sent an open letter to the White House Science advisor; the scientists argue that the tests used to validate TSA’s claims contain critical flaws, lack transparency, and have not been independently verified