1. ITV Report

Highly-sensitive airport scanner that screens people on the move piloted to cut airport queues

The highly-sensitive scanner can see a light bulb at a distance of 500,000 miles Credit: Cardiff University

A passenger scanner that reveals hidden security threats is being trialled at Cardiff Airport.

The highly-sensitive walk-through scanner, uses space technology to image human body heat developed by Cardiff University scientists.

It is able to see a light bulb at a distance of 500,000 miles - twice the distance to the Moon.

The university claims the technology has the potential to cut queues at airport terminals as it screens people on the move.

The scanner quickly "learns" the difference between items that can and cannot be taken onto an aircraft, reducing the risk of false alarms which inconvenience passengers and slow down screening.

Credit: Cardiff University

The detector technology was originally developed to study the most distant astronomical phenomena. For example, we study how stars are born from gigantic clouds of gas and dust

Our scanner combines a number of world-leading technologies developed by our team here in the UK. It uses the human body as a source of “light”, in contrast with existing scanners which process reflected and scattered millimetre-waves while the passenger is required to strike a pose.

Passengers walking normally through security would no longer need to take off coats and jackets, or remove personal items such as phones.

– Ken Wood, Sequestim Ltd

Cardiff Airport was bought by Welsh Government for £52m in 2013. Nearly 1.5m passengers passed through the airport in 2017. The trial of the passenger scanner in December represents a first for Wales.

Welsh Government and Cardiff Airport are delighted to be hosting the proof-of-concept trial of Sequestim’s innovative technology. This cutting-edge security camera not only promises a huge improvement in our experience of air travel, but also brings with it the prospect of job creation as Sequestim aims to manufacture future scanners here in Wales.

– Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister