Detecting chemical composition of liquids
In the running for UK’s premier engineering prize is a new machine which can identify the chemical composition of liquids sealed within non-metallic containers without opening them. There are quite a few contenders for the MacRobert Award. The machine has been deployed in 65 airports across Europe and it can protect travelers by screening for liquid explosives and could spell the end of the ban on liquids in hand luggage.
Based on research undertaken at the Science and Technology Facilities Council, Oxfordshire-based Cobalt Light Systems has developed an airport security scanner, the Insight100. It should enable airports to remove the existing hand-luggage liquid ban through phased implementation over the next two years.
An STFC release reports that the Insight100’s underlying technology was first developed by STFC’s Professor Pavel Matousek in a true eureka moment at the Central Laser Facility. Professor Matousek said: “The technology works using the technique of Raman spectroscopy. When combined with advanced algorithms to distinguish between the container and its contents, the technology is able to identify the chemical composition in seconds, and with greater reliability than any other existing system.”