Los Alamos Shows Airport Security Technology at Work
Los Alamos scientists have advanced a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology that may provide a breakthrough for screening liquids at airport security. They've added low-power X-ray data to the mix, and as a result have unlocked a new detection technology. Funded in part by the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate, the new system is named MagRay. The goal is to quickly and accurately distinguish between liquids that visually appear identical. For example, what appears to be a bottle of white wine could potentially be nitromethane, a liquid that could be used to make an explosive. Both are clear liquids, one would be perfectly safe on a commercial aircraft, the other would be strictly prohibited. How to tell them apart quickly without error at an airport security area is the focus of Michelle Espy, Larry Schultz and their team. In this video, Espy and the MagRay team explain how the new technology works, how they've developed an easy operator interface, and what the next steps might be in transitioning this technology to the private sector.