TSA new pat-down from Millimeter Wave

Old Oct 11, 07, 12:38 am
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TSA new pat-down from Millimeter Wave

Hi all,

After that I have heard about TSA is testing newest Millimeter Wave machines after if you are pat-down after you hear the beep. You need to get secondary screening before you headed to the concourse. So here the article was came in today:

http://www.tsa.gov/approach/tech/mwave.shtm

I'm curious where does TSA getting bring new Millimeter Wave machines at checkpoint. I need to know which concourse will be there either terminal 3 or 4. If you still anything more questionable from TSA. Thanks all!
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Old Oct 11, 07, 1:29 am
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Since I've been barking loudly about this for a long time, I will step up and offer some support for their bringing out new technologies for testing - and an alternative to the dangerous backscatter xray. I'm still troubled by their lack of commitment to testing the more benign ultrasonic waves.

One caveat - millimeter waves are not benign. In fact, the technology has been used to develop weapons which can cause injury or more serious effects.

So - my support is not an endorsement of this technology, but some grudging recognition that they're looking at different solutions - although they need to focus on benign technologies. This device is also obviously first-generation - the person being scanned must stand still and hold a pose for the image to be taken. In the future, I want to see scanning systems which take a multitude of photos as someone is walking, and then layer/compare those photos to develop the comprehensive image.
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Old Oct 11, 07, 12:39 pm
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Here's an article on the new machine from today's Las Vegas Review-Journal: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...MPLATE=DEFAULT
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Old Oct 11, 07, 12:54 pm
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From yesterday's USA Today (with photo): Phoenix airport to test body-scan machines

Travelers at the city's Sky Harbor International Airport will receive body scans from a machine the Transportation Security Administration is testing to see if it can be used throughout the USA. The millimeter-wave machine uses similar technology to a controversial X-ray scanner, called backscatter, that the TSA delayed for several years because of privacy concerns.

The new machine, which resembles a large phone booth, bounces harmless radio waves off travelers as they stand inside for several seconds with their arms raised. It produces black-and-white computer images that clearly show the outlines of people's undergarments.

Like its backscatter predecessor, the new machine raises privacy concerns. American Civil Liberties Union privacy expert Barry Steinhardt said the test could pave the way for the machines to be used in arenas and schools. "It's conditioning Americans to the use of these invasive technologies," he said.

[...]

The TSA test will determine how well the ProVision machine, made by government contractor L-3 Communications, finds weapons and whether it can operate quickly enough to replace metal detectors at checkpoints. Similar machines are used at courthouse entrances in Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, and at airports in Amsterdam, Madrid and Moscow.

[...]

A backscatter machine that was modified to produce cartoonish images of passengers has been tested in Phoenix since February. Passengers have overwhelmingly chosen to be scanned by the low-radiation X-ray machine instead of being patted down.
I find the assertion in that last paragraph about pax preference rather surprising.
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Old Oct 11, 07, 12:56 pm
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Originally Posted by kaukau View Post
Here's an article on the new machine from today's Las Vegas Review-Journal: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...MPLATE=DEFAULT
From the article:

The scans take 1.8 seconds, and it takes about a minute for the image to appear on a computer screen in a separate location.

This sounds like a minimum of a 2-3 minute process to get someone in the thing, instruct them on what to do, and then wait for the results to be analyzed and sent back to the checkpoint.
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Old Oct 11, 07, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by essxjay View Post

I find the assertion in that last paragraph about pax preference rather surprising.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the TSA does not fully inform passengers about the ramifications of using the machines and instead likely insists that it will "save them time."
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Old Oct 11, 07, 1:11 pm
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
One caveat - millimeter waves are not benign. In fact, the technology has been used to develop weapons which can cause injury or more serious effects.
Kinda reminds me of the x-ray machines they were using at almost every shoe store in the 50's to check foot positioning in new shoes.

The x-rays were billed as completely harmless.

It was only many years lateer that a "Whoops, we were wrong . The machines could have exposed kids to a dangerous dose of radiation" caveat was released.


Last edited by Cholula; Oct 11, 07 at 5:21 pm Reason: typo
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Old Oct 11, 07, 2:28 pm
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Originally Posted by essxjay View Post
From yesterday's USA Today (with photo): Phoenix airport to test body-scan machines



I find the assertion in that last paragraph about pax preference rather surprising.
Well I would rather be scanned than patted down by a TSA agent with gloves he just used to fondle his privates with in the bathroom (other thread on this).
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Old Oct 11, 07, 2:57 pm
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Originally Posted by mgilmer View Post
Well I would rather be scanned than patted down by a TSA agent with gloves he just used to fondle his privates with in the bathroom (other thread on this).
OMG! That's creepin' me out!
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Old Oct 11, 07, 3:09 pm
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Originally Posted by mgilmer View Post
Well I would rather be scanned than patted down by a TSA agent with gloves he just used to fondle his privates with in the bathroom (other thread on this).
That's exactly what Kippie and Company hope the majority of Americans will say. Then, they will never have to address safety issues.

I found a pretty good layperson's version of the electromagnetic spectrum: http://www.rhsc.ca/spectrum.html

If you scroll down, you'll see the catagory of "microwaves". This device is in the same frequency/wavelength regime as your microwave oven and various radars and are characterized as "millimeter waves."

It shouldn't surprise any of us that the TSA safety explanation is misleading: http://www.tsa.gov/approach/tech/mwave.shtm

First of all, they are comparing this device to cell phones. Wavelengths of cellphone transmissions are approximately 100x the size of these waves. The FM radio's wavelengths are 1000x the size of this scanner. Their little diagram also compares amplitude of various transmissions, which is the least important factor. But, it makes for a convincing picture.

This body scanner's electromagnetic characteristics are a heck of a lot closer to a microwave oven than a cell phone or boom box. Depending upon your body composition and the clothing you happen to be wearing at the moment, you could be slowly cooking yourself over time.
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Old Oct 11, 07, 5:25 pm
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TSL picks the worst products to evaluate.

There are MMW systems available that do not require a "portal".
Other systems pan and scan through a crowd then lock on persons of interest.

Big waste of money but TSA will catch people with drugs.
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Old Oct 11, 07, 5:47 pm
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Originally Posted by FliesWay2Much View Post
Depending upon your body composition and the clothing you happen to be wearing at the moment, you could be slowly cooking yourself over time.
Hmmm, I wonder if aluminum eyelets, buttons, or zippers will create fireworks.
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Old Oct 11, 07, 6:19 pm
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Originally Posted by essxjay View Post
I find the assertion in that last paragraph about pax preference rather surprising.
You'll recall that, according to the TSA, there were only a "few" complaints from women being groped three short years ago.

Somehow methinks that if pax are overwhelmingly choosing the backscatter, the TSA would be shouting it from the mountain tops and would not be introducing a new, allegedly less invasive, scanner.
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Old Oct 11, 07, 6:38 pm
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Originally Posted by mgilmer View Post
Well I would rather be scanned than patted down by a TSA agent with gloves he just used to fondle his privates with in the bathroom (other thread on this).
Would you like to be punched or kicked, Comrade?

The TSA is an even bigger disgrace than usual when it comes to reporting statistics.

Where's the truth?

"The overwhelming preference was for neither being groped nor being bombarded with additional radiation, but for complete overhaul of airport security, beginning with the termination of the TSA."
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Old Oct 11, 07, 6:52 pm
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Originally Posted by rebadc View Post
TSL picks the worst products to evaluate.

There are MMW systems available that do not require a "portal".
Other systems pan and scan through a crowd then lock on persons of interest.

Big waste of money but TSA will catch people with drugs.
Yeah, I am totally waste their money from TSA. I think mostly keep drug smugglers off the aircraft. I think TSA need review at security screening. It would better safer than keep drug deal off the airport property. I don't even considerable from TSA. It was reasonable why TSA is getting new backscatter machines in PHX. IT was brought from L3 Communications. Do you know which terminal will being installed new backscatter machines in PHX?
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