Ever Wondered How does An Airport Scanner Work? Here Is All You Need To Know

airport Xray machine

Almost all of us have been asked to step into the body scanner at least once in life whether we’re going inside a high profile office or a large shopping center, or even when we are going on an airport terminal to receive our much-loved relatives. Have you ever thought what kind of technology is being used to scan your body and your luggage? Today we are going to give you a detailed tour of the X-ray scanners used to identify any malicious and potentially harmful objects.

Pic Credits: YouTube

In most of the X-ray scanner, two sources are used; one is suspended on the top whereas the other stays at the side. This way two different points of view of the same package are obtained instantly, which can help identify an object that may be blocked from one side and efforts to hide any contraband are eliminated.

Pic Credits: YouTube

The X-ray system provides two levels of X-ray intensity. This two level, two plane X-ray combined with a central sensor provides more information about package content than any conventional X-ray system. The information is sent to the computer, which identifies the contents using identification algorithms. The algorithms then calculate the Z effective number and mass density of the objects in the bag. Some objects have identical z effective numbers and mass density values individually, but when both are combined, the identity of an unknown substance becomes evident.

Pic Credits: YouTube

The X-rays launched from one side of the machine are identified by a pair of detectors on the opposite side. As the bag enters through the lead-lined curtains, the objects absorb some of the X-ray energy, meaning the X-rays that pass through your luggage will have less energy than those of the others.

The X-rays then hit plate-like detectors on the other side, where their energy and position is recorded. A filter is then, added on their way to the second detector, which blocks low-energy X-rays, meaning the second detector only detects high-energy X-rays. By comparing the two outputs, the machine constructs an image showing the position of objects and their density.

Pic Credits: Quora

The computer algorithms identify the object and the operator are automatically alerted in case of a suspicious object. When an illegal material is identified, the state of the art technologies like the IBS/Scantech serves as a recheck by showing the carbon outline in both views. The operator can then use the Z-effective number and mass density to accurately characterize the material, which reduces false alarms while increasing control and safety.

Pic Credits: AirportGuys

It is this technology which differentiates flour from cocaine, talcum power from explosive one and regular plastic from a bomb casing. Most of the conventional system include threat image projection for training and performance enhancement, along with the capability of magnifying the images, creating 3D views, color-coding, creating inverse pictures and sliding window.

Pic Credits: YouTube

Organic materials like paper, food and explosives are orange, while blue or green colors are of metals and glass. The denser the material, the darker its color appears.

Do you appreciate this technology as much as we do? Comment below!

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