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Co.’s Sophisticated Bomb Detection Is the Ticket for Airports

Turn on your cellphones, show off your tiny bottles of liquids and enjoy your flight.

One Resonance Sensors hopes to tap the ever-changing airport security market — and possibly change your preflight security ritual — with two products.

ORS’ new electronics scanner uses a technique similar to magnetic resonance to detect plastic explosives hidden in cellphones, chargers and other benign-looking electronic devices. The technique is called quadrupole resonance.

The Transportation Security Administration said earlier this month that it plans to put extra scrutiny on mobile devices and ask travelers to turn them on to prove that they work.

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“Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft,” the TSA said — to the chagrin of passengers who have dead batteries.

One Resonance sees a tabletop scanner as another way to check such electronics, no matter what the battery’s state.

As for the ban on bringing large bottles of liquids on aircraft, the business is going to market with a tabletop liquid scanner.

Privately held ORS was founded in 2011 and is based in Mission Valley. It has 14 full-time employees and 10 consultants; all have “very strong technical skill sets,” One Resonance CEO Pablo Prado said.

Quadrupole resonance was the specialty of Quantum Magnetics, a San Diego security screening company that got on my radar shortly after 2000. Prado is a former Quantum Magnetics employee.

• • •

Going Places: Strap yourself in for a whirlwind trip around the Americas. Rancho Bernardo-based TrellisWare Technologies helped security during the World Cup final by providing mobile ad hoc network communications in Rio de Janeiro. TrellisWare said that its network seamlessly integrated with a variety of smartphones, tablets and desktop computers to give voice, situational awareness, continuous position tracking, chat and high-definition video for every security member in real time. In April, the business was also behind the scenes in Boston, helping security at the Boston Marathon.

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Bringing home the beacon: Visitors to Oxford, Mississippi, who find themselves on the University of Mississippi campus can get location-specific messages on their smartphones, thanks to the phenomenon of proximity beacons and San Diego technology. Proximity beacons are low-power radio devices that inform mobile devices where they are, indoors or outdoors. Petco Park and Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) retail stores now have them. The beacons can trigger location-specific messages to people who opt-in on the system. Ole Miss sports fans can download the Rebel Rewards app to get help finding their seats and receive other location-specific messages, triggered by 100 Gimbal Inc. beacons located around the 1,000-acre campus. Gimbal is a San Diego spinoff of Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM). There’s one more San Diego tie: The system at Ole Miss uses the Spark Compass mobile marketing platform from San Diego-based Total Communicator Solutions Inc. Former Qualcomm executive Erik Bjontegard founded Total Communicator in 2012. Travel tip: If you find yourself in Oxford, author William Faulkner’s house is open seven days a week during the summer.

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Daylight Snags SBIR Funds: Daylight Defense LLC of Rancho Bernardo has received a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the U.S. Army to develop next-generation high-power ultraviolet laser capability for defense uses, the company announced. Financial terms were not disclosed. Typically such grants from the Army are worth $100,000.

The Army says it is interested in laser sources in the near-ultraviolet range. One application is light detection and ranging, aka LIDAR. Another application is what the Army calls helicopter survivability. The Army is also considering use of the technology for battlefield awareness, trace detection using LIDAR backscatter and/or bio-fluorescence, as well as data storage.

Daylight Defense is a wholly owned subsidiary of Daylight Solutions Inc. The business has received $31 million in venture capital since 2006, including a $15 million series C round completed in July 2011 led by Northrop Grumman Corp. with participation by Carlsbad-based Moore Venture Partners.

Incidentally, Daylight and Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) are partners in the Army’s Common Infrared Countermeasures program. The partners hope to develop the next generation of equipment to defend helicopters against man-portable air-defense systems and other heat-seeking munitions.

Timothy Day is CEO of Daylight Solutions.

Send San Diego technology news to bradg@sdbj.com.

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