Thanks to research done at Michigan State University, bomb-detecting lasers could be placed at security checkpoints. A standalone prototype could be developed in about one year if additional funding is acquired.
A laser that detects micro traces of explosive chemicals on luggage and clothing was developed by MSU chemistry professor and BioPhotonic Solutions founder, Marcos Dantus. He states that, “Not only does it detect the explosive material, but it also provides an image of the chemical’s exact location, even if it’s merely a minute trace on a zipper.”
Scientists have been working for decades on developing a laser that is strong enough for detection, yet safe enough for use on people. This low-energy laser is safe for both passengers and their luggage. It will likely be used in a conveyer belt, similar to how airport security uses X-ray scanners.
Traces of hazardous substances can be detected from distances up to 32 feet (10 meters). Color and the surface of luggage and clothes do not seem to affect it. Interest in furthering the technology has already been expressed by an aerospace company.