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Last Updated: Monday, 21 August 2006, 10:18 GMT 11:18 UK
Airport security 'breakthrough'
Airport security checks
The technology aims to improve security checks
A technology company has claimed a breakthough which could revolutionise airport security and bomb detection.

Cascade Technologies said testing on sensor technology had shown the potential to "fingerprint" explosives in a few milliseconds.

The Stirling-based company said airport security staff could be using hand-held detectors within two years if it wins more funding for the project.

It is hoping to receive government support to push the idea forward.

The technology is based on a laser-based sensor which is capable of detecting explosives and may also detect whether people had recently handled home-made explosives.

'Critical stage'

The company, based at Stirling Innovation Park, claimed the fingerprinting system could take the form of a hand-held portable screening unit for use in airport carousels, post rooms and check points.

Cascade Technologies chief executive John Fuller said: "The technology is at a critical stage and prototype studies have shown that the instantaneous fingerprinting of explosive compounds is possible."

Mr Fuller said the company had received "significant" private investment, adding: "The US government has invested about 21m in similar projects and 9.6bn in total on airport security alone.

"Cascade has had a five figure sum from central government to help demonstrate the technology."

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