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Will the Cobalt Insight 100 bring an end to ban on carrying liquids?

January 26, 2012

Cobalt Insight 100 Screener

Cobalt Insight 100 Screener

British company Cobalt Light Systems says they’ve developed a scanning machine that could put an end to those pesky restrictions that ban liquids in carry-on luggage.

Cobalt says their Insight 100 machine could analyze bottles as big as three liters for explosives and do it in less than five seconds. Here’s how:
Bottles are placed inside what looks like a microwave oven, however this machine is no warmer of leftovers. Rather, a laser is shined into the bottle to chemically analyze its contents with a technique known as Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS). Energy levels in the liquid molecules are able to shift the wavelength of the laser light. From these small shifts, bottle contents can be determined.

Cobalt says the the Insight 100 exceeded the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) standard for use in airports with nearly perfect detection results and few false positives.

“We have worked incredibly hard over the last couple of years to refine the SORS technology and bring the Insight 100 to market,” Cobalt’s CEO, Paul Loeffen said in a press release. “It is a great achievement to have exceeded the European standards at this stage so that we are in a prime position to supply this unique bottle screener to European airports.”

Is this an end to the ban on carrying liquids at the screening stations? Will U.S. also install these machines? We will just have to wait and watch.



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