TSA To Install More
Full Body X-Ray Machines At U.S. Airports
By Bill Goldston
September 10, 2011 - Transportation Security
Administration (TSA) Administrator John S. Pistole
announced approximately $44.8 million for the purchase
of 300 millimeter wave Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT)
machines for deployment to airports nationwide further
strengthening security at U.S. airports.
The machines purchased will be deployed with new
automated target recognition software designed to
enhance passenger privacy by eliminating
passenger-specific images while improving throughput
capabilities of the technology and streamlining the
checkpoint screening process.
?Advanced imaging technology is one of the best layers
of security we have to address the threats of today and
tomorrow,? said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole. ?We
remain committed to deploying this integral
counterterrorism tool in order to ensure the highest
level of security for the traveling public.?
TSA plans to begin deploying the additional units in the
coming months, and will make airport announcements once
a deployment schedule is finalized. Many factors are
taken into consideration before AIT units are deployed
including airport readiness and checkpoint
all measures to ensure passenger privacy with its use of AIT
screening. In July 2011, TSA began installing the new software
on millimeter wave imaging technology machines currently in
airports to enhance existing privacy protections. The additional
millimeter wave units will be deployed with the new software
installed, and all millimeter wave units currently in use are in
the process of being upgraded with the new software.
designed to enhance security by safely screening passengers for
metallic and non-metallic threats?including weapons, explosives
and other objects concealed under layers of clothing.
there are nearly 500 AIT units at 78 airports nationwide.
Today?s purchase of 300 millimeter wave units is off of an
existing contract with L-3 Communications and includes the
option to purchase an additional 200 units. President Obama?s
fiscal 2011 budget included the purchase of 500 units, and the
President?s fiscal 2012 budget requests funding for an
additional 275 units.
full-body scanner is a device that creates an image of a
person's nude body through their clothing to look for hidden
objects without physically removing their clothes or making
physical contact. They are increasingly being deployed at
airports and train stations in many countries.
used under the name "full-body scanner" is the millimeter wave scanner,
the active form of which reflects extremely high frequency radio waves
off the body to make an image on which one can see some types of objects
hidden under the clothes. Passive millimeter wave screening devices rely
on only the raw energy that is naturally emitted from the human body or
objects concealed on the body; passive devices do not transmit
millimeter waves. Another technology in use is the backscatter X-ray.
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