Electromagnetic imaging for aviation security

Challenge

DASA is interested in finding and funding next-generation automated imagery analysis to ensure that the UK has the latest capabilities to efficiently detect security threats. In collaboration with the Department for Transport, the University College London (UCL) has been funded £332,520 to progress their project to develop ‘Electromagnetic imaging for aviation security’.

Solution

Magnetic induction tomography (MIT) is a non-contact and non-destructive electromagnetic imaging technique allowing the sensor to operate on an automated basis and with great penetration through metallic barriers, meaning it has potential applications in transport security.

Current sensors show poor sensitivity at low frequency, hence lacking of penetrating power through barriers. The UCL team recently demonstrated that Magnetic Induction Tomography can be performed with atomic magnetometers, which have record sensitivity at low frequency and offer promise of great penetration through barriers. The team also demonstrated machine-learning-aided classification of the relevant images. These features pave the way to applications in the security sector, as well as in industry, medicine and geophysics.

Prof. Ferruccio Renzoni, Project Lead, University College London stated:

DASA funding allowed me to progress the technology to higher TRL.

Benefits

Parcel operators, airport security operators could benefit significantly from improved and more reliable sensor techniques.

Next Step

UCL would like to liaise with companies interested in collaborating to develop this project further.

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