Rohde & Schwarz opens a new chapter for body scanners. The state-of-the-art millimeterwave security scanner that automatically detects potentially dangerous items carried on the body or in clothing. The scanner can be used for airport security checks, security at public events with a high threat potential and access control at security-related facilities.
In the recent meet with Mr. Mohan Kakde, Director Projects, Rohde & Schwarz India explains more about the product, technology and its applications.
Q: How is R&S business globally? What are the updates?
A: Across its business fields, R&S is doing satisfactory progress. Especially for Software Defined Radio, company has huge success with German Armed Force. The company has added new business fields like Media solutions, IP based Voice Communication System, Cyber Security solutions, Counter UAV System, Body scanner etc. In addition, the company is consistently striving to be innovative on the technology development, share all the updates with their clientele, media. Today we have invited you all to share information on the body scanner solution from R&S, Quick Personnel Scanner.
Q: Please tell us what the current security aspects are and why is the need of body scanner?
A: Twenty First Century has witnessed unprecedented transformation of security dynamics in the world. Terrorism and extremism have changed the threat perception of states. The old security paradigms are giving way to new ones in which many governments now view global security concerns at the domestic level. Insecurity reflects a combination of threats and vulnerabilities, implying that states can reduce insecurity by either reducing vulnerability or decreasing threats. How the security measures are planned and actually implemented depends on the region, country and the authorities. In this perpective, body scanner in of the key need, which helps human efforts by automated, faster & accurate analysis/results.
Q: Please tell us on the technology used in R&S solution, how safe it is for human body. Any apprehensions on the use?
A: Body scanners were developed in the early 1990s, operating in the X-ray range, later in microwave range and now on millimeter wave. Previously, body scanners were designed to generate images but this lead to emotionally charged public debate that forced authorities in the US and Europe to change their acceptance regulations. It is now forbidden to display photo-like images at checkpoints. The challenge was to develop a method of detecting suspicious objects fully automatically; millimeter wave technology is the solution, which has rapid image processing system that could reliably filter out anomalies from the measured data for display on an Avita.
Q: From your experience, what are expectations of passengers at the airport, how the body scanners can improve on that front?
A: The typical air traveler has conflicting feelings about security. According to a representative survey, most passengers favor the extensive use of security technology, including body scanners. At the same time, they are annoyed about a variety of inconveniences, ranging from the restrictions on carry-on luggage and having to take off various items of clothing at the security checks, to the unnatural posture required by conventional body scanners and the pat-downs by security officers, compounded by the long waits at security checkpoints. Since it is unlikely that security standards will be relaxed any time, it is up to the technology to find answers to this dilemma. The goal is to maintain the highest level of security while preserving the greatest degree of convenience to the people and R&S solution meets all these aspects.
Q: What about the shape and convenience at the airports? Does body scanner takes consideration of the emergencies, evacuations etc. How is overall convenience?
A: The tight spaces common with booth solutions are outdated. R&S solution has visually appealing, space-saving flat panels that can be integrated without barriers into the checkpoint area. The open design gives security personnel an unobstructed view of the entire checkpoint. The scan procedure, considered unpleasant with traditional equipment because passengers are required to hold their hands up in the air as if being stopped by police is now significantly more comfortable for passengers. Arms are slightly spread in a natural pose that is possible even for physically impaired individuals and is considered ethically correct across cultures.
R&S solution has no moving parts hence no stoppage of operation for calibration, it can works run continuously, its noise less. It uses modern technology of multistatic principle familiar from radar technology, where the reflected transmit signal is applied to a large number of receive antennas simultaneously; it should provide better illumination of the scanned individual, leading to an improved quality of detection. R&S has used their core strength of RF technology and German engineering in their solution.
Q: Will you please elaborate on the RF technology you have mentioned?
A: Traditional microwave scanners illuminate objects at frequencies below 30 GHz. In contrast, R&S system achieve higher spatial resolution as it operates in the millimeter wave frequency band between 70 GHz and 80 GHz, the band also used by vehicle parking sensors. At about 1 mW, the peak transmit power is approximately three orders of magnitude lower than that of cellphone emissions and is almost undetectable in the spot where the scanned person stands.
Q: How the technology adoption globally? What is R&S success?
A: Any change takes some time, depending on the area of implementation, economics it will take short, moderate or long time. Body scanners are fast adopted in America, Europe, now picking up in Asia. The benefits of R&S solution are well understood & appreciated by the end users and decision makes, the success is picking up.
Q: Last but not the least, how will you summarize R&S solution and what are the plans for India?
A: Rohde & Schwarz opens a new chapter for body scanners. Innovative hardware and software solutions satisfy the requirements of operators responsible for airport security while meeting passenger expectations to the greatest extent possible. Operators can integrate the space-saving devices into the checkpoint area without barriers to ensure high passenger throughput. Passengers experience a comfortable and non-discriminatory scan procedure. Body scanners have immense applications & need in other segments e.g. parliament, state assemblies, defence & security organisations, key establishments, exhibitions and seminars, hospitality etc.
Rohde & Schwarz already having increasing appreciation and success for their Quick Personnel Scanner (R&S®QPS) solution on the west, prepared to bring the benefits to the East, India is a key & prestigious market for the company. We will continue our partnership approach with our customer rather than aiming for short term one time business.
Our main task is educate & give correct advice to our customers with practical test cases. We are explaining why the requirements are to be evaluated with life cycle cost, it not only ensures long-term commitment from the companies, also creates true comparison considering capital & maintenance cost.
We are committed to India, our teams are ready to conquer this yet exciting segment of body scanner.