What is a mantrap

A mantrap can be built in different ways, it can be a small room with an entry door on one side and an exit door on the opposite side, it can be a high security portal (also called bussola in Italy), it can be a security vestibule or a tunnel with access control systems. But surely, what a true mantrap must have is an interlocking door system (it means the second door can be open only when the first door has been closed).

Mantraps (or armoured portals) are often used in physical security solutions to separate unsafe areas from safe areas and prevent access by unauthorized persons. This type of portals are installed in banks, companies, post offices, embassies, military centers, prisons, airports, security areas, data centers, congress centers, etc. as well as in industry to provide a very high security level for people transit from one area to another.

Mantraps in the Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages this type of security portals already existed and they were used to verify the credentials of visitors. The person was allowed to enter a vestibule (entrance area), both doors of which were manually locked, becoming in practice a real trap. At this point, the visitor's credentials were examined, and if the visitor was determined to be a person of interest (wanted), the trapped visitor could easily be arrested.

Mantraps today

Modern high security mantraps or portals use automatic systems with interlocking doors directly interfaced with access control devices. Doors are automatically unlocked when control system gives the permission, but the second door remains locked until the first door is open, thus trapping the person inside the portal for a few seconds. The pass-through authorisation can be validated using various types of technology: smart card, electronic key, password, biometric detection systems.

Some systems and products on the world market such as those of CoMETA use multiple integrated solutions, in order to create a very high security portal. Integration makes the systems more solid, preventing the passage of unauthorized persons or simultaneous multiple persons. CoMETA security portals can be equipped:

  • Person presence sensors
  • Volumetric sensors
  • Single person passage detector
  • Weighing cell system
  • Anti-hostage detection system
  • Metal detector
  • Piggybacking detection system (if one person takes the other in his arms or on horseback)
  • Password / badge / electronic keys readers
  • Face Detection with anti-masking detection
  • Fingerprint capture system with false fingerprint detection