Hitachi, together with the Nippon Signal and the University of Yamanashi in Japan, has developed a prototype boarding gate with an integrated explosives detection system to be used in airports.
Employing linear ion trap type high sensitivity mass spectrometer, the new prototype boarding gate will gather minute particles affixed to IC cards or portable devices that are used as boarding passes as well as detect the presence of explosive compounds within 1-2 seconds, Hitachi claims.
According to Hitachi, the extraction and collection of the minute particles has been accomplished by improving air flow generation timing, location of the pass and air current speed.
Hitachi has also employed centrifugal technology to allow rapid separation and collection of only particles from the unnecessary gas, allowing the particles to be exposed into the mass spectrometer for collection and concentration in a short time.
By performing inspection ahead of passenger boarding, the new technology is expected to prevent and control the entry of carry-on explosives.
The new boarding gate will not disrupt the flow of passengers and claims to provide enhanced security, allowing airports to inspect 1,200 passengers an hour.
The prototype boarding gate project was supported by the Strategic Funds for the Promotion of Science and Technology of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (MEXT).
The new prototype boarding gate can also be deployed as entrance security equipment for train stations, stadiums and event halls and expand safety and security of public places.
Hitachi is also planning to perform pilot tests of the new prototype boarding gate at public transport facilities in 2013.
Image: Hitachi's prototype boarding gate can detect the existence or absence of explosive compounds within 1-2 seconds. Photo: courtesy of Hitachi, Ltd.