Three common types of airport security screening instruments

Airports are complex infrastructures and much of that complexity is justified by passenger safety. The processes of entry, billing and internal movement of travelers require an optimal design.  Security checkpoints are frequent throughout the airport infrastructure.

While most travelers have the latter in mind, airport security goes far beyond the danger of terrorism. Small risk situations are added to the challenge of extinguishing fires, train safety or track safety, which must be controlled so that their effects do not affect critical services. And this gear is silent.

The services involve in Airport security are:

  • Application of security controls with inspection posts
  • Building surveillance
  • access control
  • patrolling the perimeter and platforms
  • Baggage inspections
  • Monitoring with technological equipment
  • Inspection of passengers, non-passengers and vehicles
  • Among many others

X-ray security scanner—bag scanner

One of the key points of airport security lies in good baggage management. Baggage inspection equipment works through X-ray radiation. By emitting this radiation, the x-ray baggage scanner can detect the different densities of the items inside a suitcase. The operation of these is very similar to that of people detectors, but baggage inspection equipment has a higher sensitivity, which allows detecting the densities and defining the shapes of the elements inside, thanks to a software program that he colors them one color or another.

In addition, these teams are characterized by having enough depth of field, not only perceive the closest but the entire volume of objects. By having a greater depth of field than the person detector, x-ray baggage scanner is capable of detecting different shapes that are recognized thanks to the geometry. Thus, thanks to its ability to capture the different geometric shapes, as well as its distinction by colors, it allows controllers to differentiate and identify the different objects found inside a suitcase.

Some of the forbidden objects for hand luggage can be placed in checked suitcases. Others, on the other hand, cannot even travel in the hold of a passenger plane. This is the case of explosive and incendiary devices.

Hand-held metal detectors

While the carry-on bag is being fed into the scanner, it is time to pass through the handheld metal detector. This security system implemented in airports is responsible for checking whether the passenger is carrying metal elements. The detectors also have random quota alarms based on volume. But what if you have pacemakers, metal prostheses, implants or similar metal elements? In such cases, the passenger must inform security personnel so that they can proceed with an alternative method of inspection.

In the event of an alarm, if it is real, a second check will be carried out by manual inspection or with a manual metal detector to identify the metal objects that caused the alarm. If it is random or quota, the guards usually carry out a second inspection, usually with a trace detector. The guard passes a sample through the wrists, belt, hands, etc., with the aim of capturing explosives or narcotics residues. The sample is then introduced into a machine that analyzes whether or not there are traces of prohibited substances.

Walk through temperature scanner.

X-ray body scanner aims to streamline controls by reducing false alarms and requiring less attention from security guards. On the other, it offers a generic computerized image of the individual, which neither shows anatomical details nor is recorded to respect their privacy. It is not a new technology because since the 70s it has been used to see in low visibility conditions, for example, so that helicopters can land in the desert if there are sandstorms.

Walk through temperature scanner system processes the data and offers a generic outline in which it is indicated if it has found a hidden object. These scanners combine a passive and an active system at various millimeter wave and terahertz frequencies, which scan the individual as they walk through a three-to-six-meter corridor without stopping.

The resulting images are automatically processed in real time, showing the silhouette on a screen. If the scanner finds a suspicious object attached to the body, it will indicate with a box drawn in the image where it is. The X-ray system detects the natural radiation that bodies emit or reflects and transforms it into an electrical signal. Therefore, if the individual wears an object attached and hidden under clothing, that area would not emit heat and would be detected by the camera.


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