Nov 8, 2016 | By Alec

Travelling has always been a hassle, but that’s even more so the case in the era of terrorism and laptops. Even with just one suitcase and a backpack, you’ll find yourself struggling and hurrying to put everything on the conveyor belt, dig out your laptop and phone and pass through security without seeming shifty and sweaty. But things are changing, and in a good way. The Dutch airport hub of Schiphol in Amsterdam is now testing two new 3D scanning systems that will allow customers to keep electronics in their luggage, a change that could make security checks far more efficient.

These 3D scanning systems are currently being trialed in Schiphol’s Departure Hall 3, and looks very promising. “Now is the time for this scanner to really prove itself. If all goes well, we are looking to roll out the system throughout the airport sometime next year,” senior security manager Daan van Vroonhoven told Dutch reporters. A similar test previously took place at Singapore’s Changi airport, and relies on CT scanning to rapidly collect luggage data. Another trial is ongoing at the Lyon–Saint-Exupéry Airport in France, but Schiphol is reportedly working with the most advanced system so far.

But aside from efficiency, there’s also a legitimate security advantage to this CT scanning method. While x-ray scanning produces accurate 2D images, this CT solution enables for immediate 360 degree examination. It thus not only reduces hassle for passengers by eliminating the need to mess with laptops and other electrical items, it also means that passengers are less likely to be stopped for invasive bag checks. Only fluids still need to be removed from your bag and kept in see-through containers.

Of course 3D scanning is being increasingly used by airports all over the world since the early 2000s. Especially Artec 3D has been leading the way with full body scanning, and travelers at Schiphol already step into a body scanner that creates full 3D images at a moment’s notice. An initial test with hand luggage scanning for Schiphol’s transfer passengers already took place in 2015, and all Schiphol tests are closely watched by the Dutch National Coordinator for Security and Counter-terrorism and KLM airlines. Similar CT-based 3D scanning machines are already used in Schiphol’s security systems for check-in luggage, albeit with hardware that is unsuitable for hand luggage areas. Systems from four manufacturers are currently being tested in Amsterdam.

The test itself kicked off this Monday, and if all goes well this could become the new standard for airports around the world. As Van Vroonhoven revealed, it could also usher in another change in procedure, as the same 3D scanning concept makes it easier to inspect fluids. In the future this could lead to guideline changes, making it possible to keep larger bottles in your carry-on luggage as well. For the first time in years, travelling could finally become a bit easier.



Posted in 3D Scanning



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