UK commits £1.8 million to fund innovation in aviation security
The projects all apply novel approaches to aviation security which have the potential to improve threat detection capabilities. In addition to improving security, some of the projects have the potential to reduce the length of time passengers spend undergoing security checks.
One of the successful recipients of the funding is a small team based in Derbyshire, Security Screening Technologies, whose project uses sophisticated imaging to scan shoes for explosive materials.
The step-on shoe scanner being developed by the company can rapidly form high-contrast images of footwear which can then be analysed by computers that have been ‘taught’ to recognise threats. Any shoes which are flagged as having areas of concern could then undergo secondary screening.
The project could ultimately mean that passengers would no longer need to remove their shoes before going through airport central search, leading to reduced queuing times and a more customer-friendly experience.
The funding is part of the 5-year Future Aviation Security Solutions (FASS)programme, a multi-million pound initiative which seeks new solutions to strengthen aviation security.
It will go towards supporting a range of projects with pioneering ideas to reduce security threats in airports.
These include the use of electromagnetic imaging to detect items of concern in luggage, filtering samples of gas taken from cargo containers to test for explosives, and using machine learning techniques to identify threats on people and in bags. ■