New Hand-Held Security Screening Device Unveiled

18th Jun 2004

Smiths Detection has signed a strategic partnership agreement with TeraView, a proprietary technology and product development company. The two companies will co-develop a next-generation hand-held security wand that utilises terahertz light waves to detect and identify metallic and non-metallic weapons, as well as bulk and sheet explosives that are concealed beneath clothing, inside shoes, or in other objects.Ê

“This technology detects multiple threats and will represent a significant leap forward over existing hand-held metal detectors,” said Bill Mawer, President of Smiths Detection North America.Ê “TeraView is the clear leader in developing this exciting technology and together we will develop a commercial product that will strengthen any security checkpoint.”Ê


“We are delighted to partner with Smiths Detection.Ê As one of the top security screening vendors, they provide an excellent route to market our technology and products in the US and around the world,” said Don Arnone, CEO of TeraView.Ê “This alliance will make terahertz products available to the security screening industry for the first time.”Ê



Terahertz light, which lies between microwave and infrared in the electromagnetic spectrum, has a number of properties that set it apart from other technologies, particularly those applied in passenger screening.Ê It passes through clothing, paper and plastics to detect metal, ceramic or plastic weapons. It also allows substances such as explosives to be identified from their characteristic spectral ‘fingerprints’.


Terahertz technology has the potential to overcome the limitations of new security screening techniques that use ionising radiation, raising safety concerns if used on people. Terahertz light is non-ionising and can be used safely for people screening applications.


The new wand will provide improved security over hand-held metal detectors by reducing the number of false alarms that lead to invasive manual searches.Ê It will also enable in-situ screening of luggage for explosives.



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