SpectraFluidics Receives $1.3M Award from TSA

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Lisa Simeone, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Their third contract in 18 months! Wheeeee!

    SpectraFluidics Inc. Receives $1.3M Award from TSA
  2. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    Look at the bright side, only $1.3M for another ineffective testing method that will supplement the false positives they're getting from the scanners. We could easily have paid much more for another useless technology that will end up getting us groped unnecessarily.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  3. DeafBlonde

    DeafBlonde Original Member

    So, they admit they will be screening us for illicit drugs, or am I reading this wrong? Oh, and what is "other contraband?" Does anyone want to venture a guess?
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  4. RadioGirl

    RadioGirl Original Member

    Can you identify cash by its scent? ;)
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  5. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    the smell of rebellion. or perhaps a counterfeit designer perfume.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  6. FaustsAccountant

    FaustsAccountant Original Member

    The other contraband would whatever is "at the screener's discretion."
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  7. RB

    RB Founding Member

    They already are. Chico California is proof.
  8. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Not really -- that was based on an individual's analysis of the x-ray view of the carryon.

    What we need is for some someone to get nailed for drugs based on chemical traces & have his/her defense attorneys challenge the test based on how the equipment was tuned/configured.

    Here in MN the courts forced the manufacturers of their newfangled field sobriety tester to cough up the "proprietary" source code so that defense attorneys could analyze how it functions and exactly what it is testing & alarming on. That's the direction they need to go with drug arrests that are based on equipment like this.
    nachtnebel likes this.
  9. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

  10. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    “It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear.”
    -General Douglas MacArthur (May 15, 1951)

    That MacArthur -- such a radical.
    jtodd likes this.
  11. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    The same guy wanted to use nukes on China in the Korean war. Can you imagine how chilly (or worse) our relations would be with China today if we had nuked them in the 50s?
  12. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    I know. He was a nutcase in some ways, like so many of our "leaders." But I thought the quote might appeal to those who don't get it. Who automatically assume that we're wild-eyed radicals for talking about the nexus of government and corporations, of "security" contracts and the TSA, etc.
  13. 4nsicdoc

    4nsicdoc Original Member

    Actually, Ramen Spectroscopy should be more accurate and result in fewer false positives. The problem is that the technology is going to be used, and the results interpreted, by low-grade dull-normal pizza delivery boys and girls.
  14. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    which should suggest an escalation path, if the sloppy, cross-contaminating pizza boys discover a positive, a lab worker following proper procedures should repeat the test in clean conditions before the pax gets the crotch massage.
  15. 4nsicdoc

    4nsicdoc Original Member

    There actually, if the machine is properly initially calibrated, might be fewer false positives. The current TSA technology identifies and alarms on elements in a substance. Ramen spectroscopy works more with whole molecules, and the bonds between the atoms in a molecule. It is a "standoff" technology that can identify from a distance and through some packaging. It uses a laser beamed at the target. The photons which comprise the laser interact with the substance and the substance then emits, in turn, another photon with a distinct energy signature which the computer then compares to a database of target molecules. While the current technology will identify the nitrogen in TNT, or trinitrotoluene, it will also hit on the notrogen in other organics like fertilizer, some lotions, and industrial residues. The new machine can, on the other hand, look only for the toluene molecule in TNT. The old stuff is chemistry. The new machine is physics. Which means we still have the issue of fifth grade dropouts trying to do science.
    RadioGirl and nachtnebel like this.
  16. FaustsAccountant

    FaustsAccountant Original Member


    RadioGirl and Lisa Simeone like this.
  17. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    so its a question of idiot proofing...
  18. jtodd

    jtodd Original Member

    I've worked with these before while I was still in. They can detect chemical vapor hazards from a distance(up to 5km). Something like this, designed to detect vapors a specific nitrate concentration, would do the job. The bonus is citizens would not have to be violated or stripped, so fire all of the perverts.


    "The M21 Alarm automatically scans a 60-degree arc, in seven field-of-view segments, to detect agent clouds. It is a passive infrared device that views the infrared energy much like your eye views visible light. The incoming energy is processed and compared against known agent spectra. When a detection (Nerve or Blister) is made, the alarm light illuminates and the horn sounds. Additionally, small field-of-view lights will illuminate to inform the operator in which of the seven fields of view an agent was detected. It is possible for several field-of-view lights to be illuminated at the same time and, subsequently, track a moving agent cloud"
  19. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    An airport is not a lab, and I'm not an enemy combatant nor should I be treated as one.

    Who doesn't love science toys? But this is not desert field work, with night-vision singular targets. This is a crowded airport: lines of people with crammed-full bags, dirty carts and conveyors with piles of luggage...

    I vote for the puppies instead.
    RadioGirl and FaustsAccountant like this.
  20. jtodd

    jtodd Original Member

    Believe me, I do too. I only posted the above since the thread was talking about something similar, but for close range detection instead of spread over a large area. Either way, it is very expensive, and totally unnecessary.
    RadioGirl and KrazyKat like this.

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