Equipment which helps fighter pilots to 'see' targets in bad weather could soon be making commercial flying even safer.

Sensors to detect terrorist weapons more easily - and faster - than current airport security systems are being developed by Lockheed Martin at its Orlando research centre.

Under a programme sponsored by the US government, Lockheed Martin is utilising work already done which enables military pilots to acquire targets in bad weather.

Non-metallic guns, plastic explosives and even special clothing can foil traditional metal detectors and x-rays.

Says programme head Ed Weatherwax: "Detecting concealed weapons is not dissimilar to homing-in on military targets. Both need a combination of highly-sensitive detection, information about what you're looking for and a super-fast computer to narrow the search."

The equipment 'knows' if an image is suspicious because it compares it with stored information about shapes, edges and the geometry of hand-guns, knives and other weapons.


Source: Flight Daily News