In recent travel news, TSA–the Transportation Security Administration–is currently testing a brand new security screening technology for carry-on bags. This new technology features a 3D scanner that will have the ability to virtually unpack carry-on bags. That’s right, this brand new 3D scanner will provide airport TSA security agents with highly detailed images of the contents of a traveler’s carry-on bag without having to open it up if they see something slightly suspicious. Not only will this new technology significantly improve the security efforts at airports, but it will also help to speed up those troublesome security lines.

The Need to Speed Up Airport Security Check In

With the Winter holiday season nearing its end, TSA officials wanted to create a way that would effectively help monitor the chaos of travelers while speeding up neverending security lines and enforcing top-of-the-line security efforts. To handle the crowds during the busy holiday season, TSA has approximately 46,000 screening officers and 230 dog teams working various checkpoints in airports across the United States. Additionally, TSA officials predict that between 100,000 to 400,000 travelers will be passing through various US airport security screening checkpoints even after the holidays.

Unfortunately, the need for these new 3D scanners was a result of a poorly executed audit that occurred at a few US TSA checkpoints in 2017. Many TSA security officials failed to recognize and detect the presence of smuggled weapons and fake explosives in carry-on bags. In light of this situation, Congress instructed the Transportation Security Administration to create a new form of security technology that will prove to be an effective means for detecting the carry-on bags of passengers of any concealed weapons or explosives. With that, TSA successfully made a newer, more powerful 3D scanner to replace their older models with. These 3D scanners are much smaller and will be able to be placed in TSA security zones. The new 3D scanner technology can be best described as an updated and smaller version of a CT or CAT scanners that are commonly used in hospitals (source). This means they have the full capability to capture every layer of a carry-on bag, allowing TSA officials to manipulate the images and dig deep for any signs of concealed weapons and explosives. Currently, the 3D scanners are in the testing phase at Boston Logan Airport and Phoenix Sky Harbor. Sometime this year, TSA officials will bring this technology over to the JFK Airport and Chicago O’Hare.

New Technologies For Safer Travel

Since plastic and liquid explosive have been one of the hardest elements to monitor and detect, the new 3D scanner technology will have a few features that will assist in this type of detection. For example, if the 3D scanner picks up the presence of a foreign plastic or liquid that poses as a threat, it will trigger a ‘Red Alert’. This ‘Red Alert’ will highlight the area with the item in question. The screen will start to flash, so it will be highly difficult for TSA agents to miss. This fancy 3D scanner currently costs $300,000 and will provide airports with top-notch security efforts to better protect themselves and the travelers.

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