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Smiths Detection launches upgraded walk-through trace portal

Travel News Asia 8 February 2005

Smiths Detection, a leading provider of trace detection equipment, has introduced an upgraded walk-through trace portal system used to automatically screen for explosives on airline passengers and visitors to highly secure sites.

The upgraded portal, called the Sentinel, has completed testing by the Transportation Security Administration and has met its requirements for security screening. The new system has been deployed at John F. Kennedy (New York), Jacksonville (Florida), and Baltimore (Maryland) airports as part of the TSAs field trials. 

This significant upgrade follows several years of extensive field deployment and customer feedback, said Bill Mawer, President Smiths Detection, North America. These enhancements will help ensure positive passenger experiences, improved ease-of-use for operators and greater energy efficiency.

The Sentinel is a non-invasive walk-through scanner that can screen more than 400 people per hour. The portal operates automatically, passing air gently over the body to release particles that are naturally absorbed by or cling to a persons clothing or body. These particles are then drawn into the instrument for analysis. Detection of these particles or vapors can indicate that a person has an explosive device in their possession or has come into contact with explosive substances.

In addition to the detection of explosives, the Sentinel can be configured to detect narcotics. The system has been field tested outside the United States to detect illegal drugs.

Smiths Detection said the upgrades include:

Lighter weight The new system is 700 pounds lighter than earlier versions, weighing 1,775 pounds.
Reduced power At its highest throughput mode, the system requires 70 amps less power than the earlier generation system. 
Modular frame design Four separate sections enable the system to be easily moved through standard double doors.
Passenger-friendly design LCD displays, new voice commands and entry signs help make the unit more intuitive and simplify the screening process. 
Enhanced exterior New thermoformed skins ensure easy installation and maintenance access, while providing a sleek appearance.

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