Last Updated on September 5, 2022 by Olivia Anderson
Modern baggage scanners in airports have sophisticated technology. The devices can see anything in your luggage, including items a few unscrupulous individuals try to hide. They include metallic, non-metallic, organic, and organic items such as illegal drugs.
These devices can identify anything in a passenger’s bag by displaying detailed images. The images help the security personnel to identify all the prohibited items.
How do Airport Scanners Work?
As mentioned, scanners have complex technology. The primary working principle of these scanners is they utilise high-energy electromagnetic radiation, referred to as X-ray radiation. However, the process of scanning your luggage and body is simple.
When the bag is inside, the scanner emits X-rays that pass through the bag. The X-rays enable the device to calculate the mass and density of the contents. Although the machines can do all these, they cannot always establish what the objects are. In some cases, they have to use screening equipment such as deep search metal detectors when luggage has alarming objects. Then if it still needs to be verified, security will check the bag. Also, airports use RTVS for weapons and bomb detection using handheld devices. So, every time you travel, ensure you check the rules and regulations of your airline flight.
For you to understand better, here is a breakdown of each type of scanner. There are two types: the airport baggage scanner and the full body scanner.
Full Body Scanners
These devices scan the whole passenger’s body at the airport security screening. There are two full-body scanners: the Millimeter wave and backscatter x-ray scanners.
- Millimetre wave scanners
It’s a device that uses millimetre waves to scan the body. They are electromagnetic waves in 30-300 GHz frequency above the microwave range. They work by bouncing off the scanned object and producing an animated coloured image.
It helps in the detection of potential threats that might need further screening. The security officers interpreting the images will then determine if there is a reason for a further detailed search.
- Backscatter X-ray scanners
These are the most effective scanners to scan and detect illegal items like drugs. However, their drawback is they take a long time to complete the scan and produce the image. Due to delays, their counterparts have replaced them in some airport processes. Another reason for their replacement is that people consider them invasive. However, they are still operational in some major European airports in the UK and US.
They work by sending ionising radiation that bounces off the body and reveals anything that is not part of it. This enables the security search team to see forbidden objects and items that might pose a threat.
Airport baggage scanners
They are also known as baggage scanner machines or baggage scanners. They are used to check both carry-on luggage and checked luggage. It has a similar working principle to a backscatter X-Ray scanner. The difference is they use X Rays to see through the bag and identify e the contents inside. Baggage scanners emphasise an item’s edges, allowing security to see through the things inside. In addition, the ability to see inside enables them to identify if there are illegal items.
Now you understand how all scanners at the airport work. Next, it’s time to answer the main question: What can baggage scanners see?
Can airport baggage scanners detect drugs, see pills, or money?
The scanners do not detect drugs but give visual clues of drugs hidden under clothes and baggage. Although the scanner cannot tell the precise composition, it can identify if the item is organic or metallic and its density. If you are suspected of having swallowed drugs, a full body x-ray machine is used to help detect if the stomach had packages.
On the other hand, scanners can see pills. So it doesn’t matter if they are in plastic, non-metallic or metallic bottles. Also, they will detect whether they are in liquid form or not.
Good scanners always detect money. They can detect the smallest amount of metal and detect paper. Scanners mostly see things because they look for unusual things.
Scanners can detect anything that’s not part of the human body’s anatomy. For example, they can see things hidden under piles of clothes or wrapped in aluminium foil. To avoid further scrutiny during travel, ensure you follow the airport guidelines. Doing the right thing will save you time from delays at the airport to your destination.
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