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Monday, April 22, 2024

Eyes on the Future, TSA Demonstrates Potential for Open Architecture

As TSA looks to the future of passenger screening and more rapidly responding to emerging threats, the agency is becoming increasingly innovative.

Worldwide, transportation security equipment is moving toward a concept of open architecture (OA).

OA is designed to improve the ability for screening systems to operate with each other and gives TSA flexibility to easily add or upgrade components using consistent standards. OA allows us to combine technologies and system components from different vendors and platforms to create a superior transportation security system.

TSA is leveraging OA to strengthen the agency’s partnerships with transportation leaders in the U.S. and around the globe.

Several of the agency’s leadership and industry partners toured the TSA Systems Integration Facility (TSIF) in Arlington, Virginia, where they got an up-close look at some of the technology in the works and learned about the potential OA can bring to further advance transportation security.

Erick Rekstad and Justin Keear of TSA’s Requirements and Capabilities Analysis (RCA) led a demonstration at the TSIF. They showed how TSA can leverage OA to support a set of detection algorithms from original equipment manufacturers and third-party companies, common workstations, remote and cross-lane screening and image on alarm-only concepts.

Keear, lead engineer of the Checkpoint Automation initiative, says this is a major milestone in proving the open architecture approach for TSA.

“The demonstration was a significant achievement in advancing open architecture concepts,” said Keear. “It represents the first time we’ve been able to showcase the full potential to our stakeholders.”

During the demonstration, Rekstad and Keear incorporated multiple detection algorithms to help detect threats TSA officers might encounter at a screening checkpoint, including explosives and firearms. Representatives from industry partners Analogic, Integrated Defense & Security Solutions, Stratovan and TeleSecurity Sciences were on hand to support the demonstration and see firsthand how they are contributing to TSA’s security mission.

“There is a lot of momentum with open architecture, and demonstrations like these are critical for continued progress.” Keear noted.

Rekstad, executive director of Analysis and Engineering, said having industry partners on board and engaged with the open architecture approach is paramount in adopting standards and helping TSA remain adaptive and flexible to respond to new threats.

“TSA regularly partners with industry in pursuit of innovative screening solutions,” said Rekstad. “However, with open architecture, we recognize it’s a shift in our approach.”

As TSA continues to safeguard America’s transportation system, Rekstad and Keear said OA is vital to developing new and innovative technology to combat continually evolving threats. They said TSA plans to conduct several lab-based evaluations over the next couple of months and looks forward to engaging more with industry as efforts move toward field demonstrations at airports.

Rekstad emphasized, “It is essential that we engage early and often with the community to enable the adoption of common and accessible data and interface standards while continuing to promote innovation in the market.”

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Homeland Security Today
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.
Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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