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Smiths Detection Installs Explosive Detection Walk-Through Portal at Baltimore-Washington International Airport


PINE BROOK, NJ -- February 8, 2005 -- Smiths Detection, the world’s leading provider of trace detection equipment, today announced it has been selected by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to field test its Sentinel II, an explosive detection walk-through portal, at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI). The Sentinel II has been installed at Pier D of the airport, and will be used to screen passengers for traces of explosives. The TSA will be evaluating the system’s performance and its impact on terminal operations.

The Sentinel II is a non-invasive walk-through scanner that operates automatically, passing air gently over the body to release particles that are naturally absorbed by or cling to a person’s clothing or body. These particles are then drawn into the instrument for analysis. Detection of these particles or vapors can indicate that a person is either carrying an explosive device or has come into contact with explosive substances.

“Trace portals, commonly referred to as ’puffer machines,’ represent a substantial upgrade to security screening. We are pleased to participate in Phase II of the TSA’s pilot program with deployment of our Sentinel II trace portal,” said Bill Mawer, President, Smiths Detection North America. “After years of experience at secure nuclear facilities and tourist destinations, we believe this technology is particularly well suited for airport deployments.”

In addition to BWI, the Sentinel II is also being tested at JFK International Airport, Jacksonville International Airport, and additional deployments at U.S. airports are expected.

About Smiths Detection

Smiths Detection North America, based in New Jersey, is part of Smiths Detection, which is one of four operating divisions of Smiths Group plc. Smiths Detection offers technologically advanced security solutions to detect and identify explosives, chemical and biological agents, weapons, and contraband, plus specialist applications for life sciences and food manufacturing industries. Employing trace detection technology together with Smiths-Heimann x-ray imaging, Smiths Detection provides security solutions for customers in homeland security and defense markets worldwide. For more information visit:


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