US DHS S&T Transitions New Compact Baggage Screener to TSA
A new, compact version of an advanced carry-on baggage screening system is in use at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas. The new design, developed in part by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), allows the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to install advanced screening technology in smaller airports that can’t fit conventional systems.
The new baggage screening system, also known as a Reduced Form Factor-Computed Tomography (RFF-CT) system, was developed by TSA and S&T’s Screening at Speed Program in conjunction with Integrated Defense and Security Solutions (IDSS), headquartered in Boxborough, MA. The advantage of CT screening systems, compared to older technology, is that they show detailed three-dimensional images of objects inside carry-on bags for transportation security officers to identify most textures and materials, reducing the number of bag checks.
“The RFF-CT system is an opportunity to decrease size, weight, and power, making the system more adaptable to smaller security checkpoints common at regional airports,” said Dr. John Fortune, S&T’s Screening at Speed program manager. “This system is designed to meet the same TSA detection standards as full-size CT systems, while enabling more flexible, passenger friendly checkpoints.”
Over the last three years, S&T and TSA have invested in the design and manufacture of the original CT screening technology systems that are now deployed to larger airports across the country, replacing the Advanced Technology systems which have been in use for many years. The new RFF-CT system allows TSA the option to use these smaller accessible screening systems across the country in airports with size or layout limitations, ensuring travelers are screened with CT technology.
S&T’s Screening at Speed program conducts transformative research and development to assist TSA by increasing aviation security effectiveness from curb to gate, while dramatically reducing wait times and improving the passenger experience.