Yesterday we commented on a new aviation technology presented at the UK’s Farnborough International Air Show.
Belgian display company, Barco, designed a device for the cockpit that allows a pilot to alter the plane’s trajectory with a swipe of his or her finger. We weren’t too keen on it, considering it essentially allows pilots to get lazy on the job.
Another company that’s presenting at the air show, FLIR Systems (Nasdaq: FLIR), developed a technology with a bit more potential, however.
FLIR is showing off new surveillance technologies meant to amp up airport security. It’s a multi-stage system to detect radiation (sniffing out potential explosives) at both check-in and security.
The first step involves a tubular device placed on the wall behind the ticket counter. If a potential bomber gets through that, another radiation detector is placed in the x-ray scanner. Once that alerts security personnel of the potential threat, a new handheld device can be used to pinpoint exactly where the radiation is coming from on the traveler.
As Steve Williams, FLIR’s European Business Development Manager, says…
“What’s happened is that the radioactive isotope that you see here has been detected by the detectors in the stanchions. Therefore the security guard has now used the portable identifier, too, to locate that radioactive isotope on [a] person.”
FLIR is also demonstrating a new security software package called “Commandspace Chameleon.” It uses cameras hooked up to radar that can track people and objects in real time.
More accurate and less intrusive security measures? That’s a much better proposition than giving pilots the opportunity to take a catnap on long flights.