QinetiQ's SPO security system to protect travellers in the United States

14 Jan 2008

QinetiQ announced today that the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has purchased the QinetiQ SPO threat detection system as part of a package of measures that will bring enhanced security technology to travellers in the United States. The TSA has purchased 12 SPO units from QinetiQ under an ID/IQ (Indefinite Delivery / Indefinite Quantity) contract that allows for additional purchases over the next two years.

The agreement follows recent operational trials of SPO technology at the Staten Island ferry terminal and Pier 90 in New York City.

Some of the deadliest terrorist attacks in recent years have involved transportation systems, including the 2004 Madrid train bombing that killed 191 people and the 2005 London Underground and bus attacks that killed 52. QinetiQ's SPO system is particularly applicable to busy environments because it can detect concealed threats that might be explosive devices from many metres away and without asking passengers to slow their pace.

"We are delighted SPO technology has been selected to contribute to the security of travellers in the United States," commented Graham Love, Group Chief Executive of QinetiQ.

He added: "The contract with the TSA is a great example of the synergies that have been made possible through the development of QinetiQ North America, and we expect to see further significant deployments of this and other QinetiQ security technologies to world-wide markets in the future."

QinetiQ's SPO units are cameras that use advanced millimetre wave technology combined with sophisticated software algorithms to screen people one at a time. The technology detects and measures the waves naturally emitted by the human body and determines if there are any "cold" objects, such as metals, plastics and ceramics concealed under a person's clothing. Suspicious objects trigger a red light on the display monitor, prompting the operator to search the individual.

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QinetiQ's SPO security system to protect travellers in the United States