Airport security scanner / Backscatter X-ray

I got a forward mail

Fwd: အရပ္ကတို့ေရ…ကယ္ပါဦးေနာ္..ဒီလိုသာဆိုလြယ္ဘူး…လြယ္ဘူး

which shows:

New hand-held airport security scanner on test !!

I got followup mail:

They are doing that at airports now. The equipment is still too big, but might become the size of heart-starts later. But the handler will be exposed to too much X-ray.
I think the only problem is power supply. The portable hospital X-rays are now quite small. The scanners might even be smaller, as they low intensity.

I thought that the attached scanner in the original mail is impossible so I wrote:

but they would not show the skin as in the attached file
how can x-ray cut through clothes only? and get reflected by skin?
even if it do so, how can an X-ray scanner be built into a hand held one?
it will go through skin and tissues too
handlers will see the bones and tissue shadows
it will be good for those meditating
to show that people and animals are just skeletons beneath the skin

Back came KS’s reply:

Po Nyi,
They are now viewing the reflected X-ray, not those that passes through, and can be done with a low intensity.
They can change the intensity to pass the clothes only.
They started using that to detect store-aways inside cargo trucks crossing borders, especially Mexico-US border.
And they are now installed at some but airports in the States, Europe and Asia. That had been in the news for some time. Even with a pic without a face, taken while testing the machine with security people.
And two airport security personal had been given warnings. One teased the other on the size of his dick for days and was beaten bad.
The attachment is a hoax. I had one short vedio that was too big to send to you some months ago, again a hoax.
The equipment is nowhere near hand-held size, but will be, in the near future.

This led me to loop up on the internet and I found interesting things……

Backscatter X-ray is an advanced imaging technology. Traditional X-ray machines detect hard and soft materials by the variation in transmission through the target; in contrast, backscatter X-ray detects the radiation that reflects back from the target. It has potential applications in situations where non-destructive examination is required, and can be used even if only one side of the target is available for examination.

The technology is one of two types of whole body imaging technologies being used to perform security scans of airline passengers. The other technology is the millimeter wave scanner.

In contrast to millimeter wave scanners which create a 3D image, backscatter X-ray scanners will typically only create a 2D image. For airport screening, images are taken from both sides of the human body.[1]

The technology has been proposed as an alternative to personal searches at airport and other security checkpoints, since it can easily penetrate clothing and reveal concealed weapons; however, it raises privacy concerns in that it appears to screeners essentially as a nude picture of the subject, and may allow screeners to gain access to otherwise confidential medical information, such as the fact a passenger uses a colostomy bag.

It is “possible for backscatter X-raying to produce photo-quality images of what’s going on beneath our clothes”, thus, the system has been designed to distort private areas.[9] According to the TSA further distortion is used in the Phoenix airport’s trial system where photo-quality images are replaced by chalk outlines.[10][11] The TSA has also commented[citation needed] that setting up screening procedures such as having the screener viewing the image located far away from the person being screened could be a possibility.

In light of this, some journalists have however expressed concern that this blurring may allow people to carry weapons or certain explosives aboard by attaching the object or substance to their private parts.[9][12]

Airport admits ‘strip search’ body scanners WILL show people naked

By Richard Shears
Created 10:01 AM on 15th October 2008

New ‘strip search’ full body scanners being trialled in Australia will show people’s private parts, officials have admitted.

But to spare their blushes, the faces of passengers will be blurred.

Domestic travellers leaving Melbourne airport over the next six weeks will be asked to test the new security scanners that can see through clothing.

More recent…

The X-ray backscatter body scanner has been described by critics as a “virtual  strip search.”

The scanner is similar to one that was trialled at Paddington station in London in 2006 in direct response to the tube bombings in July 2005.

Similar systems have also been tested at Gatwick airport.

The new scanner is designed to show people concealing weapons – but it will show a lot more than that, airport chiefs have admitted

Cheryl Johnson, general manager of the Office of Transport Security, said:’ It will show the private parts of people, but what we’ve decided is that we’re not going to blur those out, because it severely limits the detection  capabilities. ‘

‘It is possible to see genitals and breasts while they’re going  through the machine, though,’ she admitted

However, Ms Johnson said there were a number of measures in place to tackle  concerns about privacy.

“The faces are automatically blurred and … it’s only a chalk-style outline,  it’s not as invasive as some of the other equipment that we’ve got,” she said.

The scanner uses a low energy X-ray to reveal any objects, metal or otherwise,  under a person’s clothing, including body features.

The testing will be  entirely voluntary during the trial,  which is being undertaken to test how the  new scanners would affect the flow of passengers through the security point.

“It does see through clothing, but it’s not a photographic image, it’s a low-energy X-ray that reflects off the skin,” added Ms Johnson.

“The security officer that’s looking at it is located away from the screening lane, so there’s no comparison of the person walking through and the image.

‘The images are not saved, you literally walk through, the screener hits a button to  say clear and the image goes.”

The new scanners will be tested at Melbourne Airport alongside ‘next generation’ baggage X-ray machines that can detect explosives in luggage.

Hand-held scanners that can detect explosives in liquids are also being tested.

Ms Johnson said these were a direct response to an alleged terrorist plot in  2006 to detonate liquid explosives on-board airliners.

She added all the scanners had tested well in laboratory conditions, but  information was needed on how they would impact on passenger amenity.

The trial runs until the end of the November, and the results will be analysed  before the technology is rolled out for real, possibly at domestic and international terminals.
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One Response to “Airport security scanner / Backscatter X-ray”

  1. Retail Technology Says:

    Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Spending some time and actual effort to produce a very good article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and don’t manage to get anything done.

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