Can you see me now? – TSA Airport Security

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By John Gobbels, Medjet VP/COO

In March 2010 the TSA began deploying 150 backscatter imaging technology units and plans to deploy a total of approximately 450 imaging technology units this year.

Advanced imaging technology screening is safe for all passengers, and the technology meets national health and safety standards. Backscatter technology was evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), the National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST), and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), and results confirmed that radiation doses are well below those specified by the American National Standards Institute. The amount of radiation from backscatter screening is equivalent to two minutes of flight on an airplane, and the energy projected by millimeter wave technology is 10,000 times less than a cell phone transmission.

The TSA has implemented strict measures to protect passenger privacy, which is ensured through the anonymity of the image. The image cannot be stored, transmitted or printed, and is deleted immediately once viewed. Additionally, advanced imaging technology screening is optional to all passengers at this time.

How It Works –
Backscatter technology projects low level X-ray beams over the body to create a reflection of the body displayed on the monitor. Millimeter wave technology bounces harmless electromagnetic waves off the body to create a black and white three-dimensional image of the person.

What to Expect
Each passenger will walk into the imaging portal and once inside will be asked to stand in different positions and remain still for just a few moments while the technology creates an image of the passenger in real time. Once complete, the passenger will exit the opposite side of the portal.

What It Detects
The walk-through imaging technology efficiently detects metallic and non-metallic threats, such as weapons, explosives and other items that a passenger is carrying on his/her person, without physical contact.

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