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Thu, Oct 11, 2007

Sky Harbor To Start Using 'Millimeter-Wave' Screening Thursday

Similar To Backscatter Scans, But Quicker

TSA screeners at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport will begin testing a new type of screening machine Thursday.

CBS News reports the machine, built by L-3 Communications, uses "millimeter-wave" imaging technology to scan passengers for weapons and explosives.

The devices works in similar fashion to the controversial "backscatter" technology, which PHX rolled out in February of this year. Both systems give screeners explicit images of passengers' bodies, although certain anatomical areas are blurred in the interest of propriety.

Millimeter-wave technology allows a thorough scan to be performed in less time than by using backscatter, according to CBS. If tests at PHX are successful, similar machines will be deployed at JFK International, and Los Angeles International.

As with the backscatter devices, the use of millimeter-wave screening will be voluntary, and only used for passengers selected for secondary screening. Those passengers may opt to be scanned by the machine, rather than be patted down.

FMI: www.tsa.gov, www.dsxray.com/products/mmwave.htm

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