Full Body Scanners in Airports

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Full Body Scanners in Airports

A full body scanner that is a device that is able to detect objects hidden under clothing by constructing a full 3-D image of a person, complete with detailed body contours. There are presently two types of scanning technology that are used in full body scanners: millimeter wave scanners and backscatter scanners. A millimeter wave scanner is able to use radio waves that are of tremendously high frequencies, which are decoded in order to produce a 3-D image. A backscatter scanner makes use of high-energy rays that scatter when they hit solid materials. This allows a backscatter scanner to generate a detailed image of the person being scanned. Both scanners are effective at detecting contraband that may be hidden on a person’s body.

For the image scan, passengers are told to raise their arms and step into a plexi-glass cabin which takes around fifteen to thirty seconds to complete. A short buzzing sound is heard by the passenger and a digital 3-D image of the passenger’s body transpires on the screen in a closed off cabin. This image is examined by another security guard. Only agents of the same gender as the passengers do the body scan and the passengers have the right to request for a private screening at any time throughout the process.

At present, forty airports have full body scanners and eleven are in the process of receiving them. A few of the airports that currently have them are Denver International Airport (DEN), Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport (DFW), Tulsa International Airport (TUL), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), etc. Shortly, Boston Logan International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Kansas City International Airport will be an addition onto the list of airports with full body scanners. By the end of 2011, the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) projects to have over 1200 full body scanners active in airports across the United States.

Full body scanners are not required by security...
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