Airport innovations: MATNET workshop discussion on terahertz technologies for full-body scanners27.10.2011
In seven months, the most modern airport in Europe will go into operation – the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt. Within the scope of the Modern Airport – Testbed for New Efficient Technologies (MATNET) project, Berlin Airports has been holding talks with technology-oriented companies on future innovations for more efficient and sustainable airport operations since late 2007. This has given both parties the opportunity to gain an insight into the specific requirements and implementation scenarios of innovative technologies for Berlin Brandenburg Airport. A MATNET workshop discussion is therefore being held today in the BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing on "Terahertz technologies for full-body scanners – new approaches to stand-off passenger screening". The workshop discussion gives all participants an overview of ongoing developments for potential security checks at airports. Terahertz technology gained recognition in connection with tests carried out by the Federal Ministry of the Interior at Hamburg Airport. Concealed items underneath clothing can be detected by THz rays that scan the body. New developments will also be presented in today's workshop discussion: Torsten May from the Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT) Jena explained his terahertz thermal imaging camera for security applications to experts. This technology is based on radiation from the body.
The highly sensitive cameras are able to detect hidden objects, as passive radiation from the human body is unable to pass through, causing shadows to appear on the screen.
The terahertz technology can also detect dangerous liquids and objects without making contact. Scientists are particularly focusing on explosives. For example, Dr. Jörg Beckmann from BAM reports the detection of liquid explosives using this new method. For the aim is to find and analyse explosives. The technology poses no risk to screened passengers; the energy particles emitted are well below the maximum levels permitted.
One MATNET workshop discussion has already been held this year on Foreign Object Detection (FOD) on runways. More information on MATNET can be found at www.berlin-airport.de under Berlin Brandenburg Airport.