Weighing electronics at airports?

I was looking at a BBC news article about the recent security alerts at airports when a thought occurred to me. One of the big challenges with electronic items is to ensure that they have not been modified to contain explosives. My thought is that explosives must add weight to a unit. If a list of known weights for particular devices could be published then equipment presented at airports could be weighed and the weight matched against a list provided by manufacturers.

If the weight didn’t match a known weight (within some margin of error) the device could be selected for further screening. Proof that the unit was operational would also be required obviously to prevent hollowing out the insides and replacing with explosives. However assuming a device worked and the weight hadn’t increased noticably above the standard set, then it would go some way to suggesting the item wasn’t harmful.

There are obviously some issues that this doesn’t cover, but it might be a useful and simple tool as part of a security screening procedure.

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1 Response to Weighing electronics at airports?

  1. Tom Lamming says:

    The perfect way to check for explosives would be to impliment the weight check but to cross reference it with the displacement of the gadget in question. Even if the weight was the same and the unit was functional, explosives could be detected. Immersing the object in water would allow the displacement to be measured with reasonable acuracy.

    Update: Having suggested this it was pointed out to me that fluids were no longer allowed on flights. Clearly a wet phone would have to be confisated.

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