MILWAUKEE — A state-of-the-art advanced technology Computed Tomography (CT) checkpoint scanner that provides 3-D imaging and seven credential authentication technology (CAT) units have been installed and are in use at the Transportation Security Administration checkpoints at the Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE).
“Along with providing critical explosives detection capabilities, this new CT technology helps our TSA officers to determine whether an item inside a carry-on bag is a possible threat,” said Wisconsin’s TSA Federal Security Director Mark Lendvay. “Both the new scanners and the credential authentication technology units also reduce touchpoints at the checkpoint, which benefits both officers and passengers during this pandemic.”
The CT system applies sophisticated algorithms for the detection of explosives by creating a 3-D image that can be viewed and rotated on three axes for thorough visual image analysis by a TSA officer. If a bag requires further screening, TSA officers will inspect it to ensure that a threat item is not contained inside.
The 3-D imagery allows TSA officers to manipulate the image on screen to get a better view of a bag’s contents and often clear items without having to open a carry-on bag.
This equipment is similar to what is used to scan checked baggage for explosive devices. It has been “sized” to fit at checkpoints to create such a clear image of a 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. Checkpoint CT technology should result in fewer bag checks. For the most up-to-date information about CT and to view a video of the X-ray monitor, visit TSA’s Computed Tomography page.
Additionally, seven CAT units are also now in use at the airport. Passengers will approach the travel document checking station at the checkpoint and listen to the instructions of the TSA officer, who will request passengers to insert their personal identification into the scanner for authentication.
Passengers will not have to hand over their boarding pass (electronic or paper), thus reducing a touchpoint. Instead, they should have their boarding pass ready in the event that the TSA officer requests visual inspection. The CAT unit will verify that the traveler is prescreened to travel out of the airport for a flight that day; however, a boarding pass may be requested for travelers under the age of 18 and/or those without IDs or with damaged IDs.
Even with TSA’s use of CAT, travelers still need to check-in with their airline in advance and bring their boarding pass to their gate agent to show the airline representative before boarding their flight.
This technology will enhance detection capabilities for identifying fraudulent documents at the security checkpoint. CAT units authenticate several thousand types of IDs including passports, military common access cards, retired military ID cards, Department of Homeland Security Trusted Traveler ID cards, uniformed services ID cards, permanent resident cards, U.S. visas, and driver’s licenses and photo IDs issued by state motor vehicle departments.
A CAT unit consists of the passport reader, an ID card reader, a Federal personal identity verification ID card reader, a monitor, a stand and a UV light.