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The aim of the new EU FP7 project, called TeraSCREEN, is to provide automatic detection and classification of body-borne threats for security screening. This will significantly improve the security, privacy, efficiency and experience at security checkpoints.
Security checks at borders must be both thorough and fast, as studies have shown that this is where the passenger’s stress is at a maximum. These problems are being addressed by Acreo Swedish ICT in a consortium of eleven partners, comprising research institutes, component and equipment developers and manufacturers, together with security and ethical specialists from six countries across Europe.
“The most promising improvement with TeraSCREEN - in terms of passenger experience, cost saving and hassle removal - is the possibility to screen the passenger “on the fly”. This will help us provide a new type of security checkpoint where the passenger will not be stopped - offering a high level of threat detection but a low level of unpleasant interference”, says Daniel Castagnet, Special Airport Systems Director, ADPI Designers & Planners.
The new technology will operate at several Terahertz frequencies in active and passive mode. The resulting multi-frequency, multi-mode images will be processed automatically in real-time to reveal the location of potentially harmful objects concealed on a person. Such automatic recognition of threats reduces the level of attention required from the operator. Privacy Enhancing Technologies will be used in such a way that the information will be displayed to the operator on a generic computerized silhouette. No anatomical details will be shown or saved. Terahertz radiation is non-ionizing, and reliable studies have shown that active operation in this frequency band is harmless to humans.
The project runs over the next three years and the TeraSCREEN Prototype System will be demonstrated at a live checkpoint. The feedback from the End-User and Advisory Board members will facilitate the conversion of the prototype into an innovative new security screening product.