New Security Scanners At T5

Old Oct 5, 19, 12:26 pm
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New Security Scanners At T5

Speaking to the security people at Heathrow on Friday and the first of the non empty bags scanners are now in place and being used at busy times.

The expectation is over the next few months the majority of scanners will be replaced.

Didnt get to use on myself but the staff did say they were quicker. They do look very big machines when close up.!
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Old Oct 5, 19, 4:46 pm
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I can't for the life of me work out what a "non empty bag scanner" is! Please could somebody explained?
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Old Oct 5, 19, 4:52 pm
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I think what the OP is referring to is Computed Tomography scanners, CT scanners is the more commonly used wording. It's the same system used in AMS which allows people to keep liquids, PCs and other sensitive items in their bags rather than removing them before going through hand baggage security. These scanners can compute a full 3 dimension version of the contents of a bag, whereas traditional scanners only give 2 dimensions. Hence the requirement to take them out of bags to ensure they are flat on the tray, whereas for CT scanners this is unnecessary. The UK is rolling these out generally in airports, but LHR is keen to get these devices installed sooner rather than later.
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Old Oct 5, 19, 7:20 pm
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...and if you're one of those dinosaurs (like me) who still shoot film, these things are *not* film-safe. At any speed.
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Old Oct 6, 19, 2:47 am
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Thank you corporate-wage-slave I don't think I've ever knowingly passed through an airport with these machines.
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Old Oct 6, 19, 2:55 am
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I seem to remember being in an LHR trial many years ago where you didn't need to take laptops etc out, but it didn't continue after the first few months. Don't know why, but perhaps the scanners are better now
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Old Oct 6, 19, 2:57 am
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Used it on Thursday, probably quicker in the sense that no confusion in what should be taken out of the bag, but the scanning seemed to take a bit longer and more bags went for manual check. Just my impression, might be they are being more thorough in the test phase.
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Old Oct 6, 19, 3:10 am
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Originally Posted by CloudGazer View Post
Thank you corporate-wage-slave I don't think I've ever knowingly passed through an airport with these machines.
"Knowingly" is clearly correct but actually Heathrow, AMS, some USA locations have had these scanners for some time in evaluation mode before they could get sign off from the authorities that they work OK.

Sunday trivia: these devices were invented by Sir Godfrey Hounsfield, who got the Nobel prize for medicine and a knighthood, despite never studying medicine or attending university. His highest academic qualification was an A level in Physics. He was also an avgeek (he died in 2004) and often went planespotting in Hounslow, so I think he would be delighted that this technology is now being used in airports.
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Old Oct 6, 19, 3:54 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
"Knowingly" is clearly correct but actually Heathrow, AMS, some USA locations have had these scanners for some time in evaluation mode before they could get sign off from the authorities that they work OK.
Is the radiation exposure to staff greater with these machines? CT scans in healthcare are considered to represent a modest and 'safe' radiation exposure to patients, but staff generally wear a small device to monitor cumulative exposure to radiation picked up 'outside' scanners and X-ray equipment. Perhaps airport staff do likewise?
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Old Oct 6, 19, 4:16 am
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The 3D CT scanners for bags are great. I love the way I don't need to take anything out of my bag at AMS these days. Of course, idiotic jobsworths can always make it a bad experience but as long as the UK security authorities are competent and pragmatic like the Dutch it'll be great.

As to radiation dose, airport scanners are evaluated for radiation dose when constructed, and it is assumed that bystanders will receive negligible doses as it is an enclosed system. The reason for nuclear radiation workers to wear dosimeters is that the circumstances are less well controlled than for an "appliance" like a bag scanner.

The US CDC evaluated radiation exposure from scanners and most doses were due to improperly installed scanners or "poor working practices" - reaching into the machine without shutting it down, disabling interlocks, or otherwise impeding the shielding built into the machine. That's the usual reasons why people lose their fingers with circular saws, too....

There's no evidence that newer scanners carry a higher radiation risk than older scanners. You have to bear in mind that sensor technology has greatly improved over time, so a newer scanner tends to obtain higher resolution data by better detection and processing, not higher radiation intensity.

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/report...-0206-3067.pdf
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Old Oct 6, 19, 4:26 am
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I passed through security in T4 at LAX a few weeks backs and they have recently installed these. I have to say the process was much faster and much less confusion for passengers.

Having said that Iíll remain cynical about LHR adopting these, as security at T5 seems to operate on the different plane of bureaucracy/self importance.
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Old Oct 6, 19, 4:39 am
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Originally Posted by flatlander View Post
The 3D CT scanners for bags are great. I love the way I don't need to take anything out of my bag at AMS these days. Of course, idiotic jobsworths can always make it a bad experience but as long as the UK security authorities are competent and pragmatic like the Dutch it'll be great.
Last week I went through AMS my bag was picked out for secondary screening. It was about 7th in the queue. I waited for about 15 minutes for my bag to get to the head of the queue, and when it did the secondary screener picked it up and handed it to me with a "thank you" - after doing absolutely nothing with it. Don't exactly know what happened but didn't seem very competent and/or pragmatic...
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Old Oct 6, 19, 4:58 am
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The secondary screener looks again at the scan which is why they put the tray in a specific spot (identified by rfid in the tray which is why even bags go in a tray) and only after that second look will a bag be searched if it’s requird.
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Old Oct 6, 19, 5:01 am
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Originally Posted by flatlander View Post
The 3D CT scanners for bags are great. I love the way I don't need to take anything out of my bag at AMS these days. Of course, idiotic jobsworths can always make it a bad experience but as long as the UK security authorities are competent and pragmatic like the Dutch it'll be great.

As to radiation dose, airport scanners are evaluated for radiation dose when constructed, and it is assumed that bystanders will receive negligible doses as it is an enclosed system. The reason for nuclear radiation workers to wear dosimeters is that the circumstances are less well controlled than for an "appliance" like a bag scanner.

The US CDC evaluated radiation exposure from scanners and most doses were due to improperly installed scanners or "poor working practices" - reaching into the machine without shutting it down, disabling interlocks, or otherwise impeding the shielding built into the machine. That's the usual reasons why people lose their fingers with circular saws, too....

There's no evidence that newer scanners carry a higher radiation risk than older scanners. You have to bear in mind that sensor technology has greatly improved over time, so a newer scanner tends to obtain higher resolution data by better detection and processing, not higher radiation intensity.

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/report...-0206-3067.pdf

Thanks very much - very interesting. So, as with many things in life, safe enough if not misused!
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Old Oct 6, 19, 7:07 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
"Knowingly" is clearly correct but actually Heathrow, AMS, some USA locations have had these scanners for some time in evaluation mode before they could get sign off from the authorities that they work OK.
CPH fast track surprised me with one a couple of weeks ago as well! It actually took longer than usual - however blame lies with the people before me rather than the machines or operators.
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