The recent tragic shootings at Newtown, Connecticut underlines the importance of proper security and how a lapse can have horrific results. Part of the problem is that not only are many security doors inadequate, but they act as bottlenecks for traffic. Now Barbecan Security Systems have patented the Barbecan LRD Portal – a security door system that acts like a combination of turnstile, revolving door and airlock. Its purpose is to provide sensitive areas with a secure entry that cannot be forced or circumvented, yet keeps traffic flowing smoothly.

Named after a medieval fortified gate, the Barbecan LRD Portal is made of Kevlar or poly-carbonate panels and designed like a logic puzzle that allows pedestrians to walk through, yet never presents an open door. It consists of a corridor with two centrally pivoted doors mounted on slides. When a pedestrian approaches, the first door is sealed in front of him and as it slides ahead a second door slides behind, swings shut and slides forward as the first door swings open. The pedestrian emerges and the doors slide backward to repeat the cycle. At no time is there an opening where someone could rush through or pass a weapon.

The LRD Portal system showing a pedestrian momentarily sealed in the corridor

There are two clever bits to this arrangement. First, the doors are fitted with visual, sonic, IR, RF, or floor pressure sensors to gauge the walking pace of pedestrians and match it, so traffic keeps flowing. The second is that the portal is equipped with weapon-detecting sensors as well. If a gun or explosives are detected, the portal reverses direction and throws the gunman out or seals itself at both ends until security arrives.

According to Barbecan, the system is designed for flexibility. One or more portals can be installed at a location and they can be programmed to change traffic direction as needed or to open completely in the event of an emergency evacuation. However, in normal operation, the company says that the system won’t let two people through at a time.

A companion Robotic Baggage Portal design is also available.

The animation below shows how the Barbecan LRD Portal works.

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