TSA’s Multimillion Dollar Ion Sniffer Is “Out Of Order”

A sign on this multi-million dollar terrorism sniffing device reads, “Out of Order.” Spotted this morning in Charlotte’s airport. From the Smith’s website:

    “The IONSCAN

    SENTINEL II Contraband Detection Portal has been designed specifically to meet the challenge of screening people for trace amounts of explosives or narcotics in a timely fashion, and without coming into contact with them.

    Only the SENTINEL offers true head-to-toe screening. Gentle puffs of air dislodge any particles trapped on the body, hair, clothing and shoes. These particles are then directed into the instrument for analysis.


    technology combined with preconcentration technology developed by Sandia National Laboratories allows for the high throughput of screening up to 7 people per minute.

    Trace amounts of more than 40 substances are detected and identified in seconds.”

Oh yeah, and did we mention it’s out of order? — BEN POPKEN


Edit Your Comment

  1. homerjay says:

    What the?
    Were you just….?
    Did you say that you…..?
    In the bathroom of the plane?

  2. RumorsDaily says:

    They test for drugs too? I didn’t know that. I liked the first time I went through that machine, I was told I didn’t need to go through a metal detector because this machine did both. It, of course, didn’t. I wonder if someone got fired for that?

  3. nikoniko says:

    Hope they bought the extended warranty. ^_^

    “Gentle puffs of air dislodge any particles trapped on the body, hair, clothing and shoes.”

    How gentle? Can we trust there won’t be any Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch moments? -_^

  4. acambras says:

    But does it remove cat hair???

  5. is that sign written in crayon?

  6. acambras says:

    I can’t tell what they used to write the sign, but notice that it is affixed with duct tape.

  7. homerjay says:

    Wasn’t this post and the “Consumerist Rides a Place” post combined at one point today?

  8. Ben Popken says:

    Homerjay, yes, then I decided to make it a twofer.

  9. Savage says:

    More of our tax dollars hard at work.

  10. homerjay says:

    That explains why my first commend seems a little out of place here…

  11. Ran Kailie says:

    Yeah, we have one of those (or more) at Reagan National (DCA), I watched it break on one poor guy. And what did the TSA people do?

    They harassed the poor guy it broke on.

    I will say that what the machine seemed to do was gentle, but its a bit ridiculous that they had three lines and only one line had one of them. And you could get into any line you wanted and avoid the machine.

  12. The scariest part about this is that even after sinking all that money into particle sniffers and other fancy devices, we’re really not that much safer because of this device (being able to avoid it doesn’t help) because bad people will go to the point of least resistance to do bad things.