KANSAI Close-up

Detecting Explosives in PET Bottles in a Moment

 Prof. Hideo Itozaki and others from Osaka University and Kubota Corp. (Osaka City) have jointly developed a device (photo) that can detect liquid explosives within a few seconds with high accuracy. Compared to the bottled liquid checkers used in airports in Japan, this device can substantially improve the detection accuracy, which contributes to securing better security of airports and aircraft.
 This device was invented through the application of near infrared ray technology which Kubota has used for a device to measure the sweetness of fruits. Near infrared rays are absorbed differently depending on the type of liquid. The content is distinguished by irradiating near infrared rays from the bottom of the container and by analyzing the optical waveform of the near infrared ray, which reflects inside the container back to the bottom. Inflammables, such as gasoline, alcohol and liquor and chemical precursors of liquid explosives can be distinguished without opening the container. In addition, this device can distinguish even a liquid similar to these inflammables and liquid explosives, which are not in the database. The time required to judge the content is approximately 2 to 3 seconds. The misjudgment rate is only 1% or under.
 Prof. Itozaki said that based on the practical performance confirmed through demonstration experiments conducted in Kansai International Airport and Osaka International Airport, he would like to promote easing of the current restrictions on bottled liquids carried by air passengers, in cooperation with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
Contact : School of Engineering Science, Osaka University Graduate School
Phone or E-mail 06-6850-6310
Website http://www.es.osaka-u.ac.jp/eng/index.html