Updated: Millimeter Wave Scanner

09 Jun

New reports are coming in that a greater number of airports will be receiving the Millimeter Wave Scanners at TSA security checkpoints. Airports participating in the expanded scanner program include Los Angeles, Baltimore, Denver, Albuquerque, New York JFK, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, and D.C. Regan National. The number of operating machines will total at around 38. TSA officials have been stating that this new technology will and could eventually replace conventional metal detectors. I first posted an article on millimeter wave scanners in April:

New York’s JFK International Airport and Los Angeles’ International Airport have gotten new scanners to further protect airline passengers. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has begun a test run of Millimeter Wave Scanners to see through clothes to find contraband like weapons and explosives. TSA reports that 90% of passengers would rather go through this kind of scanning than a traditional pat down. An expert also added that they will use a special algorithm to blur out the faces of those inside the device.

The possible downsides of this new scanner include the safety of the system. TSA says that the scanner emits 10,000 times less energy than a cell phone. Additionally, people question the overall effectiveness of this system. It is being deployed in Los Angeles in a random manner to screen passengers. In New York, it will be offered as an alternative to a body scan. If the new scanners are successful, the program will expand to include 30 more Millimeter Wave Machines in the next year.

Hit this link for a TSA Officer’s take on the new machines. The comments on his post are particularly interesting.

Click here to see a good USA Today article on the subject, filled with more details and peoples reaction to the new security measures.

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Posted by on June 9, 2008 in Emerging Technology, Security


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