Test & Measurement
Advanced MRI Detection Technology for Screening Liquids at Airport Security
Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists have advanced a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology that may provide a breakthrough for screening liquids at airport security. They've added low-power X-ray data to the mix, and as a result have unlocked a new detection technology. The new system is called MagRay. "We've been able to look at a really broad class of explosives, we've been able to look through all kinds of packaging, and we've unlocked a new parameter – proton content – that's not available to either X-ray or MRI alone," says Michelle Espy, LANL physicist and MagRay Project Leader. "We're looking for where a liquid lies in a sort of three-dimensional space of MRI, proton content, and X-ray density," adds MagRay engineer Larry Schultz. "With those measures we find that benign liquids and threat liquids separate real nicely in this space, so we can detect them quickly with a very high level of confidence."