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hamusandtahini
11th May 2004, 03:12
It may sound like a gadget from a futuristic Arnold Schwarzenegger film. But full-body scanners - which see straight through people's clothing - are coming soon to airports in the UK.

A high-tech security screening system, designed to detect guns and other offensive weapons concealed on the body, will this month be unveiled by the defence technology firm, Qinetiq, which is part-owned by the Government.

The scanners, expected to be deployed within a year as part of Britain's armoury against terror, capture the naked image of a traveller even if he or she is wearing several layers of clothing. But to protect people's modesty they come replete with "fig leaf technology" that detects which parts of the body need screening out.

The system, which uses a special light frequency to see through clothing, was successfully trialled at Gatwick airport and will go on display at this year's Farnborough air show.

The technology was originally developed for the Ministry of Defence to use in military helicopters to enable them to see through fog. But it has now been adapted by Qinetiq, which used to be part of the top secret defence research establishment at Porton Down, for civilian use.

The airport scanners are designed to detect concealed metallic objects including knives, guns, hand-grenades and shoe bombs on a fully-clad human being.

However, the millimetre wave sensors will also highlight metallic items of clothing including bra clasps, trouser flies and buttons. People with pacemakers, metal pins in bones and reconstructed jaws may also find their secrets revealed.

Airport operators will be thoroughly screened to ensure their motives are not prurient or voyeuristic, Qinetiq said. British Government sources say it could help tighten security at airports while ensuring that passengers are not subjected to delays.

Duncan Valentine, managing director of the transport sector at Qinetiq, said that he believed the scanners would soon be in common use. "This launch is a significant development in the fight against terrorism and we foresee millimetre wave technology becoming to people screening what X-ray is now to baggage screening."

Experts say that the millimetre wave scanner, unlike X-rays, poses no health risks to human beings because it uses part of the light spectrum, to which people are exposed every day, to see through clothing.

They believe it will cut down waits for security screening at airports significantly and dispense with the "pat down" by security guards. Only people who are shown to be carrying suspicious looking metallic options in clothing or shoes will have to be checked by security personnel.

"It has the ability to penetrate natural materials," said one expert. "What you would aim to do is to project any threats that are found onto a screen. It would look as if someone is wearing a body stocking."

The technology has already been successfully piloted at British ports where scanners have seen through lorry walls to detect hundreds of illegal immigrants being smuggled into Britain. The body scanners are expected to be available within a year for other premises with high security, including government buildings and VIP conferences.

Going Around
11th May 2004, 06:44
Thats all very well, but there are many more potential weapons out there that are not made of metal. It will be interesting to see how well they show up on this new bit of kit. Let's hope it does exactly what it says on the tin!!!

Devils Advocate
11th May 2004, 07:33
W.r.t ....'it could help tighten security at airports while ensuring that passengers are not subjected to delays'

Super, that'll give them more time in Duty Free to purchase (glass?!) bottles of Vodka and lighters. :rolleyes:

W.r.t Qinetiq being 'part-owned by the Government'. True, it owns 66.2% of it.
The remainder of the Qinetiq shares (33.8%) are owned by the US venture capital giant Carlyle Group - which paid a knocked down, and much disputed, price of 42m ( i.e. us British taxpayers were robbed ! ).

Nb. Carlyle Group is one of the largest private equity firms in the world and owns several US defence companies.
Interestingly it has also previously invested money on behalf of a wealthy Saudi family - none other than, you've guessed it, the bin Laden's ! - as well as having numerous politicians and military advisers on its payroll.

W.r.t..... 'the scanners would soon be in common use'. Well that's hardly surprissing given that the Government / DFT can readily force those in the transport sector to have to use this equipment - and where upon one can be certain that this'll also be a nice little earner for Qinetiq and Carlyle.

W.r.t..... 'Airport operators will be thoroughly screened to ensure their motives are not prurient or voyeuristic' :uhoh: ...... YEAH, RIGHT !!!!!?

RUDAS
11th May 2004, 11:07
sounds like some personal privacy suits are in the pipeline with that one...

ps,shouldn't that be "Houmous and Tarhina"?

CarltonBrowne the FO
11th May 2004, 12:12
There was some blurb in the aviation press about this last year... apparently it readily detects weapons made of a wide variety of materials- even a plastic knife has to be made of fairly dense materials, which show up clearly. Wearing a "privacy suit" sounds like a ticket to a full body-cavity search... :uhoh:

PAXboy
11th May 2004, 12:17
This is very old 'news'. The chances of it making any major differance to the threat is (IMHO) limited. It just drives them to be more elusive and exploit other weakness'. This is a system designed for the gooks that the USA employers as 'security' screeners. :rolleyes:

CarltonBrowne the FO
11th May 2004, 12:27
It should make a significant difference. Even bones are dense enough to show- and as it's visual, there should no longer be the same problem of every key, etc, being a potential false alarm. With practiced operators, the flow of bodies through security should be smoother and faster.

MidnightSpecial
11th May 2004, 15:00
Remember the scene in 'Airplane 2'? The screeners are lasciviously viewing the naked women while the terrorists with machine guns walk through the checkpoint.

MS

A Very Civil Pilot
11th May 2004, 18:21
A.B

I think it's supposed to be pronounced Kinetic, as in energy. It used to be D.E.R.A, Defence Establishment Research Agency which IMHO sounds alot more trustworthy than Qinetic

SRB
12th May 2004, 09:22
Defence Evaluation and Research Agency.

BEagle
12th May 2004, 09:32
They like to be called 'Kinetic'.

But just call them 'Kwintykwoo' - or, even better, 'Queerer'!

A typically stupid, meaningless name which no doubt was the result of paying thousands to some designer-stubble [email protected] with a pony tail to come up with?

RUDAS
12th May 2004, 11:37
it is indeed a very,singularly and utterly stupid name.but dont you remember those blairite idiots trying to rebrand royal mail as "consignia".lasted a few months and people just laughed so they felt stupid.

welcome to "new Britain".:mad: :mad: :mad:

Whippersnapper
12th May 2004, 13:26
Or Chorus - no clues in their name that they are British Steel re-named.

Anyway, back on topic, I doubt we're talking about a visual picture that shows a naked person, a-la "Airplane" spoof film. More likely it'll be a multi coloured Warhol-esque image showing a body form and anything attached to it.

IB4138
12th May 2004, 14:00
Whippersnapper

It's CORUS for steel, chorus for singing!

ssultana
12th May 2004, 14:12
Al Q, and others won't use the same methods again. I think it's good to have the security, but there are many other ways to destroy aircraft or buildings. The Igla - two of them, fired by a trained operative from the local area would bring down a plane for sure

surely not
12th May 2004, 14:13
or Go or Buzz or Now.....all of which had sweet fanny adam to do with the Govt. so stop being so 'kin daft as to blame the Govt. for all the stupid names companies come up with!

Binoculars
12th May 2004, 14:15
To continue the thread hijack, RUDAS, it's a bit rough to put the blame on Blair for that one as though he's the one who thought of it. Every western country has gone through this crap. I suspect Esso may have been the first when they changed to Exxon... X's were big there for a while, and Beagle was right about the advertising geniuses paid to come up with these meaningless names.

In Australia the Bank of New South Wales became Westpac, the State Government Insurance Office became Suncorp, the PostMaster General's department became Australia Post, and our telecommunications authority, whatever it used to be called became Telecom, but that made too much sense and people still knew what it was so they renamed it Telstra. Whankers.

As for my beloved employer, it has changed names no less than six times since I joined. :rolleyes:

sixmilehighclub
12th May 2004, 18:19
Where can I get one? :E

DeepC
12th May 2004, 19:27
Or Chorus - no clues in their name that they are British Steel re-named.

I think the former staff of Koninklijke Hoogovens would take exception to the above statement.

tony draper
12th May 2004, 19:59
They had problems at the Nuclear facility called Winscale so they solved em by changing the name to Sellafield, I understand it was suggested in the USA that the standard measurment of radiation sounded sort of nasty, one cannot think of how to spell it so one won't bother,anyway they wanted the name changed to sunshine units,

"Sorry Mr Draper you got five million sunshine units yer gonna die"

Its sort of a spin off from PC.

:rolleyes:

airship
12th May 2004, 20:10
I wannabe one of the operators of this new widget. Where do I apply? Wait, with high-speed low-cost Internet connections, we don't need to employ anyone. We can all volunteer to take turns concurrently. I'll pay special attention to shapely females like 95% of volunteers here (but I was first so I have priority control of the machine). There must be a few gay volunteers about too. Any fetishists for the other categories? Throw a few pedophiles into the works and we're all set... :} :uhoh:

Morpheme
12th May 2004, 20:15
Yes, what the hell was wrong with roentgens anyway?

By the way, I'm sure the PC gestapo are only interested in expanding the nation's vocabulary - for example, existing long words are to be replaced by shorter, friendlier ones (eg, "homosexual" becomes "gay") whereas if a short, friendly word exists it must be replaced by several longer and angrier ones (eg, "deaf", "blind", "dumb" become expanded by harsh clinical terms with "impaired" or "challenged" stuck on the end.)

Anyway.... back to the thread.....

PilotsPal
13th May 2004, 16:42
There's a certain someone I know who is reputed to have a piece of jewellery in a location that invariably makes men wince and arouses female curiosity to near fever pitch. This device would certainly reveal all without the need to either get pissed and then ask to see, or get a certain Australian lady contributor to this forum to check it for me.

pigboat
13th May 2004, 19:54
In the meantime, how does he check his bag through security? ;)

karrank
15th May 2004, 15:02
There is a naughty site (to which I will not link) that proudly presents pictures from enterprising chaps who put cameras in bags or on their shoes and walk near ladies in short dresses. This is nice and erudite stuff, but the site is inflicted with sad barstards who are convinced they can see ladies' undies if they film in black & white (X-RAY MODE!!!) Are these airport wallies similarly deluded?

Probably bought the "see thru clothes" specs off the back of the Phantom comic also when they were little tackers...

brockenspectre
15th May 2004, 18:40
Surely the more interesting aspect, if true, is that the Carlyle company now owns 38%+ of this device and Carlyle itself invests on behaf of the Bin Laden family ... :confused:

cribble
15th May 2004, 21:39
:hmm:
I wonder how the "fig leaf" technology for avoiding embarsssment works?

Does it recognise the shape of peoples naughty bits and then pixellate them out?

Is there a scoreboard for "marks out of ten"?

Couldn't a terrorist make a gun shaped like a willy and just walk straight through?