Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Intelligent Machines

Bomb Scanners

How current airport bomb detectors operate-plus a look at the next generation of scanning technologies.

As of December 31, 2002, every bag checked onto a U.S. flight must first be run through a bomb detector. More than 1,060 explosive-detection systems and 5,300 trace detectors are currently used for luggage. These systems employ x-rays and computer tomography to scan for suspicious shapes and object densities. But the U.S.  Transportation Security Administration is considering alternative devices-including some for passengers-that will identify the chemical signatures of explosives. Two technologies have successfully passed early tests.

More from Intelligent Machines

Artificial intelligence and robots are transforming how we work and live.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Basic.
  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning print magazine, unlimited online access plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

    Bimonthly print magazine (6 issues per year)

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.