What is the Sencion?
What is the Sencion?
The Sencion is a laptop-sized detection device that instantaneously and effectively analyzes liquids in plastic or glass bottles to determine if the bottles contain any threat liquids (flammable and explosive liquids). It is designed for use at security checkpoints to enable individuals to carry their bottled liquids quickly and safely through any security checkpoint.
By what mechanism does it work?
The Sencion uses microwave technology to assess the physical properties of liquids. Wave lengths generated from sending and receiving antennae are analyzed by computer chips using sophisticated software to determine if a bottled liquid contains any threat liquids that could be used to cause harm.
Has this technology successfully been used in other arenas?
Yes. The Sencion is currently helping protect the more than 15 million passengers that pass through the Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan each year. It has also been used in Chubu International Airport in Nagoya, Japan; Kloten Airport in Zurich, Switzerland; Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, China; Macao International Airport in Macao, China; and Laos Vientiane Wattay International Airport in Vientiane, Laos.
The technology used in the Sencion was initially developed for use in detecting the presence of landmines, smuggled goods, cavities in walls, reinforcement rods in concrete, sink holes, illegally dumped waste and artifacts located at archeological sites.
How big is the Sencion?
This lightweight portable device is about the size of a laptop computer. Specifically: 11.5” wide, 3.0” high, 9.1” deep and weighs approximately 5 lbs.
What types of venues could benefit from the Sencion?
The Sencion was designed to be installed and used at any checkpoint where individuals are searched for restricted or prohibited items. It is particularly effective in high traffic locations such as airports and courthouses, as well as at entrances to secure buildings, such as numerous federal and state government buildings.
What types of liquids will the Sencion detect as permissible for passengers to safely carry aboard airplanes?
Drink liquids, including water, sodas, juices, baby formulas, protein drinks and the like; certain hygiene products, such as shampoo; most liquid medicines; and alcoholic beverages generally purchased in duty-free shops.
What types of explosive and flammable threat liquids does the Sencion detect?
The list is extensive, but for security reasons cannot be disclosed. The threat liquids include both readily available commercial products and other regulated materials.
What happens if the liquid being tested is a threat liquid?
The sensor produces an audible alarm and a red light flashes. Conversely, acceptable liquids trigger a green light.
Once an acceptable test liquid is placed on the sensor, how long does it take to detect whether or not it is potentially explosive and/or flammable?
Less than 2 seconds.
Using the Sencion, how many passenger bottles (fitting into the screening criteria range) can be screened in one hour?
Including handling time, the Sencion can effectively screen 12 bottles per minute or 720 bottles per hour.
Is the Sencion dangerous to use?
No. The Sencion uses harmless, electromagnetic technology to detect any threat liquids. The microwaves used to analyze containers are not harmful in any way to the operator. The microwaves are also not capable of igniting any of the threat liquids it is designed to detect.
Is the Sencion difficult to operate?
No. The Sencion is easy to use with very little training. Like all technology, it must be used properly to ensure accurate results.
For what types, sizes and shapes of containers does this device work?
The Sencion is calibrated to detect threat liquids in opened and unopened polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles (standard plastic bottles) and glass bottles. Glass bottles may range from clear to various colors and PET bottles, depending on their processing and thermal history, may either be transparent, opaque or white. Depending on the type of container and the thickness of the bottom of the bottle to be tested, different sensors can be calibrated to detect threat liquids present in a wide range of containers. As currently designed, one sensor alone covers most commercially available beverage containers consumers would buy in vending machines or stores.
Can the Sencion detect liquids in paper containers, such as coffee cups, and other types of containers, such as aluminum cans?
The Sencion is currently calibrated to detect threat liquids in glass and plastic bottles, which covers most commercially available beverage containers consumers would buy in vending machines or stores. It can be calibrated to detect threat liquids in paper cups and can be upgraded and recalibrated to detect the same in different types or sizes of containers and with different types of liquids. It can also be calibrated for regional differences. For instance, in Japan, it is calibrated to detect threat liquids in aluminum containers as they are the containers of choice for many Japanese travelers.
Can the Sencion be fooled?
Terrorists may try to create a threat liquid mixture that produces a mirror analysis of a benign liquid, but such a result is extremely rare. However, the software driving the Sencion processing unit can be adjusted from time to time, thus making it difficult for any terrorist group to anticipate the level of detection. In addition, the Sencion defaults to a positive reading (red light) if it does not recognize the substance sought to be detected as safe.
Who invented the Sencion and why?
After the horrific events of September 11, 2001, Masahiro Fujiwara, the inventor of the Sencion threat liquid detection equipment, immediately began research and development using proven existing microwave technology that he had developed for use in the detection of landmines, smuggled goods, cavities in walls, reinforcement rods, sink holes, illegally dumped waste and in the investigation of archeological sites. After several years of research he developed a unit that was commercially acceptable for the detection of threat liquids in bottles.
Why is this technology needed?
As stated by the United States Department of Homeland Security, “… with terrorist events such as the Madrid rail bombings, the London Underground attack, and the exposure of possible attacks on U.S. bound flights from the United Kingdom, there is an urgent operational need for a unified approach to the detection of liquid explosives in the civil aviation industry as well as other mass transit modes of transportation.” At the same time, we need a device that will permit all of us to carry necessary liquids with us for our convenience and safety.
What are the benefits of the Sencion?
Implementing the Sencion into high-traffic security checkpoints means peace of mind for travelers and those working in aviation, government and security industries.
The instantaneous detection that the Sencion provides is the only technology that meets the needs of high-traffic security checkpoints such as airports without impeding the flow of traffic or slowing the screening process.
The Sencion is the only threat liquid detection device in the U.S. that addresses all of the concerns of the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, and is ready for shipment immediately.
The Sencion is easy to use and requires no more than 15 minutes of training for authorized personnel.
How long has the Sencion been available?
The Sencion has been available for commercial use since August 2004.