New portable anti-terrorism devices announced

In response to the threat to bomb transatlantic flights, Scanna have launched two new detection devices. The first portable device enables officers to quickly scan any suspect containers for explosive or flammable substances.

Oct 5, 2006
By David Howell

In response to the threat to bomb transatlantic flights, Scanna have launched two new detection devices. The first portable device enables officers to quickly scan any suspect containers for explosive or flammable substances.

The device is able to distinguish substances such as gasoline, incendiary mixtures, acetone, nitroglycerine, various spirits, ethers and other dangerous liquids from water, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks and dairy products.

The apparatus exploits a technique called Quasistatic Electrical Tomography. This technique estimates the spatial distribution of electric properties of a medium and can determine the characteristics of a liquid irrespective of the size of container, thickness of its wall or presence of air gap between the device and a vessel. In turn, the electrical properties of the liquid (permittivity and conductivity) determine whether the liquid is either flammable or explosive.

The device is completely electronic and does not contain any radioactive or microwave source or any other potentially dangerous parts. The device, powered by two AA size batteries, measures 135x 70x24mm and weighs 110 grams.

The second device is the Scanwedge that enables unattended packages to be quickly and easily x-rayed. Scanwedge has a unique flat panel design which allows it to be used in even the most confined spaces. Scanwedge can be used from different orientations and produces high quality x-ray images. The compact Scanwedge 2520 has a flat imaging area of 25×20 cm and provides operators with the most compact, rugged, man-portable x-ray system on the market.

For the safety of operators and others in the vicinity, Scanwedge is used with golden x-ray generators, and does not rely on hazardous generators containing pressurized or toxic gases. For speed and safety, Scanwedge images are sent immediately to a laptop so that operators do not have to re-approach a potential suspect bomb to retrieve film or imaging plates. With a flat imaging area of 25x33cm (10×13”), the Scanwedge 3325 model provides 50 per cent more coverage than other conventional portable x-ray systems in its class and can be supplied in a single rugged transport case.

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