German team develop instant liquid explosive detector

21st October 2009, Comments 0 comments

The new technology could allow passengers to bring liquids on planes again.

Berlin -- German scientists said on Tuesday they have developed a new technology that could allow air passengers to take liquids on planes again by instantly being able to tell if they are explosive.

Knut Urban, head of a team of physicists from the Juelich research centre, said that their prototype device could identify explosive ingredients "in a fraction of a second."

Since 2006, passengers have only been allowed to take small amounts of liquids on board, or those bought "air side" in airports after security checks, following the discovery of a plot to blow up transatlantic airliners.

Three British Muslims were jailed for life last month for the foiled transatlantic bomb plot, involving near-simultaneous Al-Qaeda-inspired suicide attacks.

The new technology, outlined in Superconductor Science and Technology magazine, involves analysing liquids using a broad spectrum of electromagnetic waves that provide a detailed molecular "finger print" of the fluid.


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