Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New luggage inspection methods identify liquid explosives

Date:
September 22, 2010
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
Liquid explosives are easy to produce. As a result, terrorists can use the chemicals for attacks -- on aircraft, for instance. In the future, new detection systems at airport security checkpoints will help track down these dangerous substances. Researchers are currently testing equipment.

New luggage inspection methods identify liquid explosives.
Credit: Image courtesy of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

Liquid explosives are easy to produce. As a result, terrorists can use the chemicals for attacks -- on aircraft, for instance. In the future, new detection systems at airport security checkpoints will help track down these dangerous substances. Researchers are currently testing equipment.

Related Articles


To most air travelers, it is an annoying fact of life: the prohibition of liquids in carry-on luggage. Under aviation security regulations introduced in Europe in November 2006, passengers who wish to take liquids such as creams, toothpaste or sunscreen on board must do so in containers no larger than 100 ml (roughly 3.4 fluid oz.). The EU provisions came in response to attempted attacks by terrorist suspects using liquid explosives on trans-Atlantic flights in August 2006. Now, travelers have a reason to hope to see the prohibition lifted. On November 19, 2009, the EU Regulatory Committee of the Member States passed a proposal to this effect issued by the EU Commission. Under the terms of the proposal, the prohibition of liquids will be lifted in two phases. First, beginning April 20 9, 2011, passengers in transit will be permitted to take liquids along with them. Under the second phase, beginning April 20 9, 2013, the limit on quantities of liquids will be lifted altogether. The EU Commission intends to introduce legislation to this effect this August. In the future, security checkpoints will feature equipment that can reliably distinguish between liquid explosives and harmless substances such as cola, perfume or shampoo.

This is also the intention of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), which lays down standardized detection procedures and inspection routines for liquid explosives. The explosives tests are being carried out by the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT in Pfinztal. The German Federal Ministry of the Interior has officially designated the institute as a German Testing Center. The researchers there are working in cooperation with the German Federal Police. "In our safety laboratory, we can carry out the experiments under all of the safety conditions we would find in the field," remarks Dr. Dirk Rφseling, a researcher at ICT. "Either on their own or at the invitation of ECAC, the manufacturers bring their detection equipment to our lab, where they show us how to operate it and then leave. Then we begin with testing."

But how do these experiments work? In their partially remote-controlled experimental facilities, first researchers at the safety laboratories manufacture explosives according to specifications provided by the ECAC. Security services provide the organization with lists of substances to use in manufacturing explosives. Then, the detection equipment must automatically identify the liquid explosive -- as well as any harmless substances -- as such. For instance, the equipment must not identify shampoo as an explosive and set off a false alarm. Depending on the scenario involved, individualized testing methods and systems are required: If open containers need to be inspected, for example, then the sensors detect the vapors given off. If luggage screeners need to scan unopened bottles in a tub, on the other hand, then x-ray equipment is used. The experts forward the findings of their tests either directly to the manufacturers of the equipment, or to the German Federal Police, which in turn passes the results along to the ECAC. The ECAC, in turn, notifies the companies of whether or not their equipment is suitable for certification. "In the past, luggage screening has only identified metals and solid explosives. The screening equipment of the future will also identify liquid explosives. Initial tests at the Frankfurt Airport have already successfully been completed," Rφseling summarizes.

The researcher and his team presented details of the test scenarios and methods at the Future Security conference in Berlin, September 7 to 9, 2010.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "New luggage inspection methods identify liquid explosives." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100922082339.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2010, September 22). New luggage inspection methods identify liquid explosives. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100922082339.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "New luggage inspection methods identify liquid explosives." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100922082339.htm (accessed November 29, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Magnetic Motors, Not Cables, Power This Elevator

Magnetic Motors, Not Cables, Power This Elevator

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — Imagine an elevator without cables. ThyssenKrupp has drafted an elevator concept that would cruise on linear magnetic motors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins