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Archive for June 8, 2011

New airport scanner which will take just five seconds

June 8, 2011 1 comment

telegraph

Passengers could clear airport security in as little as five seconds under plans for a sophisticated new screening system which would not require them to remove their personal belongings.

The 21 feet long smart tunnel combines all existing and imminent security technology in one place and would slash the time passengers wait at airports. Passengers would simply walk the length of the tunnel while they are scanned.

It would prevent the frustration many passengers feel when they have to partially undress at a security gate.

A version is expected to be trialled within 18 months and could be rolled out at major airports within five years. British authorities are known to be keen to use the next generation of airport security scanners as soon as possible.

Currently the aviation industry allows 30 seconds for passengers to pass through the existing security system.

But this time only allows for walking through the detector, removing shoes and belts, placing metal objects in a separate container and producing liquids for inspection.

It does not take into account the time passengers spend putting gathering their belongings afterwards, nor the time they have to queue before reaching the metal detector in the first place.

This can take around 10 minutes at the most efficient airports which now includes Read more…

China aircraft carrier confirmed by general

June 8, 2011 Comments off

bbc

China's aircraft carrier is seen under construction in Dalian, Liaoning province (April 2011) (above) and on Google Maps (below) The 300m (990ft) carrier, under construction in Dalian, is thought to be nearly finished

The head of China’s General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has confirmed that China’s first aircraft carrier is under construction.

Gen Chen Bingde refused to say when the carrier – a remodelled Soviet-era vessel, the Varyag – would be ready.

A member of his staff said the carrier would pose no threat to other nations.

The 300m (990ft) carrier, which is being built in the north-east port of Dalian, has been one of China’s worst-kept secrets, analysts say.

Gen Chen made his comments to the Chinese-language Hong Kong Commercial Daily newspaper.

The PLA – the largest army in the world – is hugely secretive about its defence programme.

The carrier was constructed in the 1980s for the Soviet navy but was Read more…

‘Dramatic’ solar flare could disrupt Earth communications

June 8, 2011 Comments off

theprovince

Handout photo released by NASA Earth Observatory on June 7, 2011 and taken from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), sunspot complex 1226-1227, shows the Sun unleashing an M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare.

Handout photo released by NASA Earth Observatory on June 7, 2011 and taken from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), sunspot complex 1226-1227, shows the Sun unleashing an M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare.

WASHINGTON – An unusual solar flare observed by a NASA space observatory on Tuesday could cause some disruptions to satellite communications and power on Earth over the next day or so, officials said.

The potent blast from the Sun unleashed a firestorm of radiation on a level not witnessed since 2006, and will likely lead to moderate geomagnetic storm activity by Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

“This one was rather dramatic,” said Bill Murtagh, program coordinator at the NWS’s Space Weather Prediction Center, describing the M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare that peaked at 1:41 a.m. Eastern time in North America, or 0541 GMT.

“We saw the initial flare occurring and Read more…