SAN FRANCISCO — Security in airports and other sensitive areas may get a huge boost, thanks to a technology under development that is straight out of science fiction, said to be capable of looking through clothing to detect weapons and other dangerous items. But privacy advocates—and shy people—may have cause for alarm.
Millimeter-wave technology researchers at Northrop-Grumman Space Technology are developing a technology said to enable small cameras to look through clothing and other inert materials to detect weapons or other contraband. This technology, known as passive millimeter-wave (PMMW) technology, can also see through heavy clouds in order to perform aerial surveillance on bad weather days, according materials provided by the organizers of the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC). Northrop-Grumman researchers plan to present a paper on PMMW at ISSCC here in February 2007.