Threat detection maker Thermal Matrix International has developed a new product that it claims can detect person-borne improvised explosive devices (PBIEDs) from a safe distance.
The Access Counter IED Technology (ACT) system detects hidden plastic, liquid, powder and gel explosives through enhanced thermal imaging without the use of x-ray systems or invasions of privacy. It is also able to screen for guns and contraband.
The development follows the January 2011 attack on Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport, where a suicide bomber set off an explosion, killing 35 people.
“The Moscow attack shows that airports worldwide are at risk, not just the planes and the people who fly. We can’t wait until the gate area to screen for potential threats,” said Vice President of Business Development and Communications for Thermal Matrix, Chris Jadick.
He continued: “The personnel and technology deployed at security checkpoints provides one strong layer, but the extra layer that ACT provides will greatly improve bomb detection capabilities. This system was specifically designed to prevent the type of tragedy we saw at Domodedovo.”
The ACT visually depicts the size and location of the concealed threat, including distinctive shapes that are not visible to the naked eye of the operator.
Security screeners are offered several operating options through a number of features in the ACT system. These include different filters that adjust the optimal settings, based on the type of threat being detected. Operators can also stop, rewind and review any scene from the previous 30 minutes. Additionally, scenes can be saved into an archive for future use, including as evidence.
Thermal Matrix provides complete turn-key solutions, either as stand-alone units or as those with the ability to integrate into existing security control rooms. The sensor can also be coupled with video cameras, to produce a side-by-side view of the passenger’s features and of their thermal image.
The company is also developing a threat detection processor, internally referred to as its ‘black box’, which weighs less than 10lbs (4.5kg) and will offer cheaper threat and bomb detection. It can be incorporated into existing security infrastructure and will be available by the end of this year.
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