The UK government has given the green light for the release of a total of £1.8 million to aid eight projects that would develop technology geared to bolster airport security and enhance the screening process.
The new aviation security solutions are being made to strengthen threat detection capabilities, lessen queues and largely facilitate quicker airport screening process.
Security Screening Technologies is one of the projects that would be receiving part of the grant, utilizing imaging technology to scan shoes for explosive materials and other dangerous elements.
Although the technology is still being fine tuned, the step-on shoe scanner would take high-quality images of shoes that would then be analyzed by computers. Any footwear that is flagged would then go through another screening process.
The subsidy is part of the five-year Future Aviation Security Solutions (FASS) program, a project that seeks to cultivate new technologies that would improve aviation security.
UK Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg said:
“The safety of people travelling on all modes of transport is our top priority and the Future Aviation Security Solutions program is just one example of the huge importance we place on the security of passengers.”
Sequestim was another project that received funding. The company, which is based in Wales, has designed an unconventional walk-through screening system.
The platform is expected to reduce instances of manual checks and travellers would no longer have remove articles of clothing.
Each team would have to fully develop their technology and turn it into an operational prototype within a year. This would then be tested at airports.
Other projects that also got funding are Durham University’s machine learning algorithms for X-rays, University College London’s application of machine learning to recognize peculiar items and groups of objects in bags, and SEADM’s portable system to check for explosives in cargo, working with Smiths Detection.
University College London has also gotten funding for electromagnetic imaging for baggage and cargo. Funding would also be given to Scanna MSc for the development of a step-on shoe scanner to uncover explosives and weapons, as well as the University of Cambridge for a project that modifies the focus of training for airport security.