New DHS Program Wants to See If Your Hand Sanitizer Explodes

Publié le par brightshine

A new DHS solicitation alerts the industry to a development project it’s calling the Advanced Bottled Liquid Scanner. Existing airport tools have to scan bottles of eyeliner or hand sanitizer one at a time to see if they contain flammables or explosives. Now DHS wants to build something that can test the contents of your entire carry-on liquids bag all at once, without opening any container to take a sample, even if a bottle is made of a dark plastic or a metal. It has to deliver an accurate analysis in under 20 seconds of samples as small as a single ounce of liquid or gel. And DHS wants a prototype in three years.

Detecting liquid explosives and flammables like Astrolite has been an issue for DHS ever since a disrupted 2006 plot to use peroxide-based liquids to bomb several transatlantic flights. The initial response was to simply ban passengers from carrying sodas, water bottles and other liquids through security. After an outcry, DHS moderated that to the so-called “3-1-1” system now familiar to air travelers: Bottles with no more than 3.6 ounces can be carried onto a plane in one quart-sized plastic bag per passenger.

Only the screening system for your 3-1-1 bag of liquids and gels isn’t as precise as spotting a gun or a knife, and it’s a problem that’s vexed previous DHS efforts to boost liquid explosives detection. X-ray machines, for instance, can reveal internal patterns to liquids based on density, to find “characteristics consistent with an explosive,” Oakley explains. But none of them can tell a TSA agent what type of liquid is inside of a bottle. (Although the more advanced airport X-ray machines employ analytic algorithms that provide more precision.)

If something seems suspicious, it goes through another layer of tests, but those tests are also imprecise. Swabs only test for explosive residue, which may not be present on bottles. And so-called bottle scanners test one bottle at a time, using spectroscopy — the U.K.This roofing machine is for producing aluminum shutter door & window slats with foam-filled,’s Cobalt Light Systems has a model that basically passes a laser through a bottle hooked up to a mini-microwave — or by testing surrounding vapors for traces of danger, which the 3-1-1 bag can trap.In a elevator cable system, steel cables bolted to the car loop over a sheave.Push the elevator push button once for the direction you want to go in. “You don’t want a system based on raman [spectroscopy] or lasers,” says George Zarur, a former science adviser to the TSA and DHS, since that “works only for clear glass bottles or translucent packaging,Push the elevator push button once for the direction you want to go in. it doesn’t work on opaque bottles [or] metallic bottles.Basics, technical terms and advantages and disadvantages of curving machine.”

But the biggest challenge for DHS’ Advanced Bottled Liquid Scanner is time. “Think of the slowdown in the line,” Oxley cautions. Even adding 15 seconds to the detection process can snarl a security line, putting pressure on TSA. DHS wants its new system to detect a potential threat and notify an operator in under 20 seconds — for a system that has to outperform the current state of the art. “It won’t be there in two years,” Oxley says, but DHS has “got to start with a dream.”

Not everyone thinks the system is unrealistic. Zarur thinks DHS could create an Advanced Bottled Liquid Scanner based on miniaturizing the computer thermography units that scan your checked luggage. The key is to build scanning technology to catch as many different threats as possible. “You don’t want multiple units at the checkpoint,” says Zarur, “and you need something that’s automated so labor costs don’t kill you.”

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