Could new scanner allow TSA to ease bottled water rule?

A new machine may allow the public to safely bring bottled water through airport security checkpoints in the future.

The Transportation Security Administration has just given a $6.8 million contract to Edgewood, Md.-based Smiths Detection for scanners that can detect hazardous liquids in sealed bottles.

The scanners, called RespondeR Bottled Liquid Scanner, use Raman spectroscopy technology to scan bottles, with results within 20 seconds. Smiths Detection says they can easily scan clear, translucent and frosted, unopened glass or plastic bottles and return easy to understand results, such as “Potential Threat” or “No Threat.”

In addition to airport screening areas, the scanners could be used at special events and high-profile facilities, Smiths Detection said.

TSA has made no announcement about if, when or where they would be implemented or used.

Smiths Detection is a division of London-based Smiths Group plc.

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