FLIRs Demos Airport ‘Security Zone’
Flir Systems has installed an airport security zone at the Farnborough International airshow (Hall 3 Stand AS7) demonstrating an integrated, layered approach to screening passengers using various devices from the U.S. company’s product range.
The security zone actually begins at an airport’s perimeter, where Flir provides a Ka-band ground surveillance radar and daylight color/night-time infrared cameras that detect and track intruders. The information is displayed and analyzed in a command-and- control center the company provides as part of its integrated security solution.
Flir also offers products that help detection in airport check-in areas. David Strong, Flir Systems vice president of marketing for detection and protection, demonstrated a virtual check-in counter fitted behind with radiation monitors contained in cylinders that can identify 50 different nuclides, whether used for a medical application or resulting from contamination or a threat. The monitors can track a radiation source based on proximity, and are also embedded within stanchions at the counter. If something is detected, an alarm is set off and nearby cameras automatically slew toward the source and provide a video record.
Within the check-in area, a security officer can confirm the type of nuclide with a handheld device, the identiFinder 2. Flir Systems has delivered 10,000 of these devices worldwide, including to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.
At the exhibit, luggage is screened with a Rapiscan 620XR X-ray machine from Rapiscan Systems of Torrance, California, which has partnered with Flir Systems for the security zone demonstration. These machines will eventually be upgraded to scan for liquids.
Another Flir Systems product, the Fido PaxPoint handheld device, is a liquid “sniffer” that detects and identifies liquids used in making explosives. Luggage can be swiped and analyzed using Flir’s new desktop Griffin 824 trace detection mass spectrometer, which detects explosives and narcotics. Unattended bags can be checked with the Fido nanoRaider, a pager-sized radiation detector.
The company’s IBAC monitoring units provide early warning of bio-aerosol threats in the ventilation system of a building. Upon release of any chemical or biological agents, the monitor shuts off the ventilation system to prevent the spread of contaminants and sends a warning to the security zone command-and-control station.
The command-and-control station runs on Flir-developed software and provides correlated surveillance imagery of the airport grounds generated by the perimeter radars and cameras. Existing security cameras and sensors can also be integrated. Flir Systems provides “this entire capability,” Strong remarked. “We provide, we produce, we install it at the airport.”
David Smith, Flir Systems vice president of business development for Integrated Systems, said an integrated airport security solution can cost anywhere from $500,000 to multiple millions of dollars. The company installed an integrated system at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in 2010, its first European installation. Other integrated systems have been installed at airports in Krakow, Poland, (2011) and Doha, Qatar, (2012). Installations are under way in Palm Springs, California, and Riga, Latvia.