Computed tomography could soon ease the airport TSA bag screening process, allowing passengers to keep their liquids and laptops in their bags at security checkpoints.
Transportation Security Administration head David Pekoske told Axios that computer tomography technology can detect much lower weights of explosive devices than current technology.
The technology also can give TSA officers three-dimensional images of bags' contents as they move across the X-ray conveyor belt, Axios reported.
Pekoske said the technology can scan for a broader range of weights on explosive devices, including homemade explosive devices.
Computed tomography, which is now being tried out in Boston and Phoenix, uses machine learning to train itself based on items it encounters to remember which items are prohibited and which are not, Axios said.
The TSA, though, currently does not have a timetable when the new technology could be employed at airports around the country.
Computed tomography, or CT, is more commonly used in the medical field and refers to a computerized x-ray imaging procedure in which a narrow beam of x-rays is aimed at a patient and quickly rotated around the body, producing signals that are processed by the machine's computer to generate cross-sectional images — or "slices" — of the body, according to the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.
"TSA expects to purchase up to 40 units (this year) to be used for testing and demonstration purposes," Michael Bilello, assistant administrator of TSA, told Axios. "Demonstration and Operational Testing units will be placed in airports around the country, while 12 testing units will be distributed amongst testing facilities."
The TSA has not announced which airports will receive testing units, according to Axios.
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