Travelers may finally get some relief from the current ban on liquid amounts over 3.4 oz/100 ml. A new British scanner called the INSIGHT 100 screens bottles of plastic and glass and detects explosives. The system is currently in trial in several European airports.
The liquid restrictions were introduced following a failed attempt by terrorists in 2006 to bring down several airlines departing London for North America. The terrorists intended to use liquid explosives carried onto the aircraft.
This new scanner uses a technology called Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy, or SORS. It uses particles of light to identify the molecules inside containers. Ultimately, the technology is hoped to be used to diagnose diseases in a non invasive way and be used to analyze counterfeit drugs and powders.
Either way, if this technology proves successfully, we’ll all be able to start taking our shampoo, conditioner, lotions, and water bottles on the planes again. Bottles of water, cosmetics, and perfumes may be taken through airport security as early as 2013.