ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Five new, state-of-the-art 3-D scanners have been installed at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint at Albany International Airport. The scanners provide critical explosives detection capabilities for screening carry-on items.
The new devices use computed tomography (CT) to provide 3-D images that the airport’s old scanners were not capable of. “Previously, our screening technology for carry-on bags used 2-D images. The CT technology applies advanced algorithms for the detection of explosives, including liquid explosives and other threat items,” said Bart R. Johnson, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Upstate New York.
The system applies sophisticated algorithms for the detection of explosives by creating a 3-D image that can be viewed and rotated 360 degrees on three axes for thorough visual image analysis by a transportation security officer. This new technology creates such a clear image of the bag’s contents that the system can automatically detect explosives, including liquids, by shooting hundreds of images with an X-ray camera spinning around the conveyor belt to provide TSA officers with the three-dimensional views of the contents of a carry-on bag.
It takes a few extra seconds for the TSA officer to view the image and rotate it to get a better understanding of its contents, however in most cases, rotating the image allows the TSA officer to identify an item inside the bag and clear it without a need to open it for inspection. Checkpoint CT technology should result in fewer bag checks. However, if a bag requires further screening, a transportation security officer will inspect it to ensure that a threat item is not contained inside.
The CT units have a slightly smaller entry tunnel and not all larger carry-on bags will fit into the units. TSA recommends that large carry-on items be checked with the airline.
Passengers using these machines at Albany will be allowed to leave their laptops and other electronic devices in their carry-on bags.
“TSA continues to demonstrate its commitment to the safety and security of Albany International Airport’s travelers with the installation of this new, cutting-edge screening technology and security initiatives while at the same time improving each traveler’s overall checkpoint experience,” said Philip Calderone, CEO of the Albany County Airport Authority.