The legacy of Richard Reid’s unsuccessful December 2001 attempt to blow up a transatlantic flight with explosives concealed in his shoes is the Transport Security Administration’s requirement that airline passengers remove their shoes for x-ray inspection, in the belief that potential terrorists will try to emulate Reid’s failed efforts. Over 15 years later, this still contributes to long lines at security checkpoints.
Explosives detection currently represents the biggest security challenge facing airport operators. Total body scanners have a blind zone of ~7 cm above the floor: the area a shoe bomb would be located. Requiring 100% of passengers to remove their shoes for X-ray scanning is quite a slow procedure and not completely safe. Existing devices for the detection of explosive compounds show many technological limitations: their analysis is limited to the swabbed point(s), requires 2 to 3 minutes for analysis and is currently not used for shoe screening. Due to the long analysis time required for Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) procedures, EU regulations prescribe ETD screening procedures only on hands and luggage of a certain percentage of randomly chosen passengers. And screening procedures for explosives, no matter how well designed and organized, always conflict with another important goal of airport operators: to organize for smooth, fast, and non-intrusive safety and boarding procedures.
Eye on Air have developed AirBrush, a mat-like device based on a proprietary, ultra-thin and high sensitive Ion Mobility Spectrometry sensor, called I-Must. Hidden in the floor of the security checkpoint, AirBrush represents the most secure mean of detection of explosives in shoes, with a sensitivity so high (0.1 ppb) that there is no need for passengers to remove shoes.Thanks to unique, patented, ultra-compact and highly sensitive technology, AirBrush is the only effective shoe scanner for explosive detection.