L-3 to provide new aviation security technologies

L-3 Communications Corp.'s Security and Detection Systems division has developed several new technologies and systems to enhance airport security, the company announced today.

One is a passive millimeter wave system, or MMW, intended for screening passengers for concealed weapons. The company also is deploying its Multi-View Tomography, or MVT, X-ray technology for screening checked baggage.

L-3 is working with the U.S. aviation authorities to consider pairing the L-3 MVT with eXaminer, the company's explosives detection system that is certified by the Transportation Security Administration.

The commercial development of passive MMW technology is leading to a new generation of security products, the company said. MMW can pass through clothing and packaging to detect automatically concealed objects. Not limited to metal, MMW can detect the possession of ceramic weapons, plastic explosives, drugs and other contraband. The company plans to develop and commercialize an advanced MMW imaging portal for use indoors for airport security screening. L-3's passenger screening portal is expected to enter trial testing at a major international airport later this year, the company said.

For larger airports, L-3's MVT offers automated explosives detection at rates of up to 1,800 bags per hour. Several international airports are using MVT.

L-3 will test an online configuration with TSA where an MVT and eXaminer are paired, allowing airports to achieve greater automated baggage inspection rates at a lower cost than an all eXaminer configuration. In this pairing, the MTV would screen all bags first; an eXaminer would then screen any suspect bags it finds.

L-3 Communications of New York has about 38,000 employees and annual sales of $5.1 billion. The company ranks No. 14 on Washington Technology's Top 100 list, which measures federal contracting revenue.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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