With the help of the newly invented Terahertz Detector, authorities will soon be able to tell what you have in your pocket, bag, luggage, and anywhere else, all from tens, and possibly thousands, of feet away.
This new technology can see through walls, clothing, packaging, and almost every other material, and instantly detect what is there, such as explosives or drugs.
Until now, terahertz wave technology could only detect what was only a few feet away from the detector, but thanks to Jingle Liu and his team, this technology can now be used from as far as thousands of feet.
“A lot of other researchers thought that terahertz remote sensing was mission impossible,” said physicist Jingle Liu of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, lead author of the study published July 11th in Nature Photonics.
The research has been funded by and will be utilized by the department of Homeland Security and the Defense Department. They plan on using it to remotely detect roadside bombs in Afghanistan, in an attempt to save thousands of U.S. soldier’s lives.
The detectors could also be used for airport security to detect illegal substances hidden in people’s clothes. This would be a great alternative to the X-Ray scanners that some airports have started using as the terahertz waves are much lower in energy and much safer.
“Homeland security and military agencies have been struggling for years to get technology like this,” said terahertz expert Abul Azad at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “I think the approach they have revealed is really, really unique.”
As great as this technology sounds, it does have some weakness: water and metal. These are the only two things that the detector can’t see through, so the use of conventional metal detectors will also be used to detect weapons, and as for water, only time will tell what the military comes up with.