Plane ticket reader that also sniffs for bombs
TOKYO (AFP) - Plane passengers could soon be scanned for bombs as they swipe their boarding pass, a Japanese company said on Wednesday, unveiling the world's first explosive-detecting departure gate.
Engineers from hi-tech firm Hitachi showcased a machine that blows a short puff of air at a passenger's hand as he scans his pass.
It then sucks in that air - along with all the minute particles that have been blown off the hand - and instantly analyses whether there are any explosive substances present, said senior chief researcher Minoru Sakairi. All that takes about 1-2sec, short enough to keep people moving through the gate and onto the plane, he said.
The gate is most effective in finding those who may have hidden non-metal-based bombs on their bodies, like the man who concealed plastic explosives in his underwear on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit in 2009.