London: Millions of air travellers who face restrictions in carrying liquids along with them are about to benefit from a device that was initially designed to scan the chemical content of wine.
The scanner, developed by a Chemistry professor in California at the University of California, Davis, US, is being redesigned from checking the quality of wine to detecting liquid bombs at airports, reports New Scientist.
In 2002, Matthew Augustine patented a device that could check whether wine had spoiled without needing to open the bottle.
Augustine found that his technology could distinguish gasoline or other dangerous liquids from innocuous substances, such as toothpaste.
According to him, the secret to sniffing the contents inside of a container is a combination of a pulse of radio waves and a strong magnetic field, very similar to an MRI scanner used in hospitals.
Augustine, who is currently working with the US Department of Homeland Security, hopes that the scanner, which will be smaller in size, could be tested at airports within a year.
First Published: Thursday, February 10, 2011, 18:30