Microwave liquid scanner passes ECAC standard 2 for airport security

April 30, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Link Microtek, industrial partner to Emisens, has announced that the EMILI 2 microwave-based liquid identification system has achieved ECAC (European Civil Aviation Conference) Performance Standard 2, following independent laboratory testing carried out under ECAC’s common evaluation process for liquid explosive detection systems.

With the EU having set a deadline of April 2013 for lifting the ban on airline passengers carrying liquids in containers larger than 100ml, airport operators are now urgently focusing their attention on the availability of suitable screening equipment.

Achieving ECAC Standard 2 provides independent confirmation that the EMILI 2 system delivers the necessary level of performance, combining a high threat-detection rate with a low false-alarm rate. EMILI 2 is classed as Type B equipment, which means that it is designed for scanning individual containers non-invasively. It works with plastic, glass and ceramic bottles - both clear and opaque.

Capable of identifying the contents of an unopened bottle in less than a second, EMILI 2 is believed to be the fastest Type B equipment currently on the market. In addition, it is extremely easy to operate: there are no doors to open or close, no buttons to push and no adjustments to make. The user simply places the bottle on the machine, and immediately the screen displays either ‘pass’ or ‘fail’, indicating whether the liquid is harmless, inflammable, corrosive or explosive.

Because of its speed, the scanner is ideal for resolving alarms from first-line security systems such as belt-driven X-ray machines. It is also flexible enough to be used as standalone equipment at smaller airports where expensive X-ray detection machines may not be installed.

EMILI 2 employs patented multimode microwave near-field sensor technology, which distinguishes different liquids according to their dielectric permittivity, molecular relaxation and ionic conductivity. As it emits no ionizing radiation and does not utilise any high voltages, magnetic fields or laser beams, the scanner has none of the health-and-safety concerns associated with other types of equipment.