After five years of development, Roteck has announced a portable personnel and bag scanning unit that can easily be transported, set up and used in almost any location. The Smart Inspection Unit (SIU) is totally self-sufficient, relying on solar power and a battery to keep running.
Günther Wockelmann, MD of Roteck South Africa explains that the SIU can scan two people and their bags at the same time. The two RTS-5 metal detectors are new single panel ‘pass-by’ detectors instead of the traditional ‘walk-through’ arches (the first time this technology is being used in South Africa), saving on weight and space to allow for dual scanning in the confines of a trailer.
The bag scanner, named BagScan 4, also developed by Roteck, is a non-radiation (non X-ray) baggage scanner which uses visual and UV light directed into people’s bags – which means scanned items (bags, boxes, parcels etc.) must be opened before being put on the conveyor. Video images taken within the scanning tunnel display the contents on a video screen so that security personnel can check each bag without having to touch it. It also includes a tray feeder to ensure trays for bags and other personal items are always available at the entry point.
The conveyor belt starts automatically as soon as a bag or tray is placed on the belt. It pauses when the bag is in the tunnel to allow for inspection, and then automatically pushes it out the other end. Security officers can also pause the belt with the push of a button if more time is required.
Each bag scanner has an additional Wi-Fi camera to record individuals as they place their bags on the conveyor belt before passing the metal detector. This avoids people disclaiming ownership of a bag if contraband is found.
All video is recorded on a hard drive installed within the SIU, along with a Wi-Fi router. The router allows anyone within range to view live images of the SIU in action, or to search for past events from a computer or mobile device. Naturally, the remote viewers will need to be authorised via a password before they gain access to the video.
In cases where security operators are required to scan people with handheld scanners as well, charging points for these scanners are built into the trailer (as are USB sockets for charging phones). There are also storage compartments which can be used for whatever the security team requires.
A reaction test is also included, allowing personnel to test if individuals are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The test is a small device on the trailer’s wall (it is not a breathalyser), which tests the reactions of people in comparison to average reactions.
The whole system is supplied from a 12 V, 100 A battery hidden underneath one of the bag scanners. Two 120 W solar panels on the roof keep the battery supplied, and hooking the SIU trailer up to a vehicle also allows it to charge while attached to the vehicle.
To ensure portability, the system has been designed to be as light as possible, without sacrificing performance. In its operating position, access to the trailer is only 120 mm high (depending on tyre size), making it easy to walk in and out of the compartments. Once on the scene, the system can be up and running in under five minutes.
At the same time, Roteck has ensured the setup is designed to be safe for people and also for technology to ensure it is unharmed when driving over South African roads. It is covered by a rigid steel structure, while the cladding is made from light-weight steel sheeting.
Wockelmann says the 100% locally developed SIU can be used as a security measure at sporting events or concerts, schools or any location where people congregate in which security is a concern and the infrastructure for permanent checkpoints is not available or required.
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