Prototype Boarding Gate with Built-in Explosives Detection

Prototype Boarding Gate with Built-in Explosives Detection 
Detecting Explosive Compounds Adhering to Portable Devices and IC Cards 
Tokyo, Oct 3, 2012 - (JCN Newswire) - Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501,
"Hitachi"), in collaboration with The Nippon Signal Co., Ltd. (TSE:
6741) and the University of Yamanashi, have successfully prototyped a boarding
gate with built-in explosives detection equipment as part of efforts to
increase safety in public facilities such as airports. The prototype boarding
gate efficiently collects minute particles which have affixed themselves to IC
cards or portable devices used as boarding passes, and can detect within 1-2
seconds the presence of explosive compounds using internalized equipment. 
With this method, it is possible to inspect 1,200 passengers per hour. The
technology is expected to contribute to the prevention and containment of
carry-on explosives as it inspects immediately prior to boarding without
disrupting the flow of passengers, and provides increased security without
affecting convenience. This research and development was supported by the
Strategic Funds for the Promotion of Science and Technology of the Ministry of
Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (MEXT). 
In recent years, to ensure safety and security in transport services, there is
a need increase security to discourage and prevent the carrying-on of
explosives into to transports such as airplanes. For example, flight safety
would be significantly increased if it were possible to inspect passengers for
explosives at the boarding gate, the last point of inspection before boarding
the flight; however, as several hundreds of passengers need to pass through the
gate at once, the time taken by conventional metal detectors and X-ray
inspections was an issue. 
The prototype boarding gate developed through collaboration between Hitachi,
Nippon Signal and the University of Yamanashi, employs mass spectrometry
technology which can detect the presence or absence of explosive compounds
within 1-2 seconds. As a result, it is now possible to simultaneously check the
boarding passes contained in IC cards or portable devices while inspecting all
passengers for explosive compounds without affecting the flow of passengers
passing through the gate. 
As this equipment can be adapted to entrance security equipment for train
stations, stadiums, event halls, etc. in the future, it is expected to
contribute as platform technology to achieving the safety and security of
public spaces. 
Features of the prototype boarding gate with built-in explosives detection
equipment are as described below. 
(1) High-speed collection of minute particles adhering to IC cards or portable
devices while reading the device Technology utilizing high speed air current to
collect minute particles attached to IC cards or portable devices used as
boarding passes, while reading the card or device, was developed. The efficient
extraction and collection of the minute particles within a short period of time
was achieved by optimizing the timing to generate the air flow, positioning of
the pass, and air current speed. 
(2) High-speed concentration of the collected particles and high-sensitivity
mass spectrometry analysis In order to achieve high-sensitivity mass
spectrometry, it was necessary to release the unnecessary gas to outside the
equipment and increase the concentration of the particles since the particles
are collected within a large volume of air, cyclone method centrifugal
technology was employed to efficiently and quickly separate and collect only
the particles from the gas, enabling the particles to be introduced into the
mass spectrometer to be collected and concentrated in a short time, thus
achieving high sensitivity mass spectrometry. 
(3) Internalized compact high-sensitivity mass spectrometer A linear ion trap
type* high sensitivity mass spectrometer which can continuously detect
explosive compounds in real-time was employed, and by innovating the assembly
of the power and control systems, the size of the equipment was reduced even
further to achieve internalization within a boarding gate. 
The prototype equipment developed will be on display at the Special Equipment
Exhibition & Conference for Anti-Terrorism (SEECAT' 12) which will be
held from 17th - 19th October 2012 at the Tokyo Big Sight in Tokyo, Japan while
conducting a continuous operation pilot test. Further pilot tests at public
transport facilities are also planned in the next financial year. 
* Traps ionized sample compounds in a linear region within a vacuum before
conducting analysis. 
About Hitachi 
Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global
electronics company with approximately 320,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2011
(ended March 31, 2012) consolidated revenues totaled 9,665 billion yen ($117.8
billion). Hitachi will focus more than ever on the Social Innovation Business,
which includes information and telecommunication systems, power systems,
environmental, industrial and transportation systems, and social and urban
systems, as well as the sophisticated materials and key devices that support
them. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website
Hitachi Ltd
Corporate Communications
Tel: +81-3-3258-1111 
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