Farnborough Air Show

Morpho baggage scanner is more accurate, quicker

 - July 17, 2010, 4:58 AM

Safran’s Morpho subsidiary is here in Farnborough (Hall 4 Stand B12) exhibiting a mockup of its CTX 9800 machine for detecting the presence of explosives in passenger baggage, which was approved just last year by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration. Olivier Andries, Safran’s executive v-p for defense and security, claims the system is much faster and has better detection performance than other explosive detectors.

Using improved tomography technology, the CTX 9800 can process up to 1,000 pieces of luggage per hour. “This has to be compared to a typical 500 pieces per hour,” Andries told AIN. Moreover, greater resolution helps spotting smaller quantities of explosive material and the false alarm rate also is lower. San Jose Airport in California is the first customer for the new system.

The smaller, less expensive Morpho CTX 5800 is derived from the CTX 9800. It has the same detection performance but handles just 400 to 500 pieces of baggage per hour. Safran bought this baggage scanning business from GE last year.

Also on Morpho’s display is “Finger on the fly,” a contact-free fingerprint identification system. For future products, design engineers are endeavoring to improve security performance, especially in detecting hazardous liquids and explosives hidden on a passenger’s body. Simultaneously, they are looking for ways to accelerate security checks at airports.

Through acquisitions in recent years, Morpho has grown its offerings in biometry, secure identity documents and homeland protection. Andries said most of the company’s future growth will be organic, although “targeted acquisitions” are still an option. On Friday, news agency Bloomberg reported that Safran is considering taking over U.S. biometry specialist L-1.