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TSA’s Vision for a Connected Security System Using Open Architecture

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is embarking on a visionary journey toward a seamlessly connected transportation security system. The agency envisions a network of state-of-the-art solutions that can swiftly adapt to emerging threats, fostering a dynamic screening environment that enhances security measures.

Open Architecture Philosophy

At the heart of this vision is the adoption of Open Architecture (OA), a design philosophy that promotes interoperability and standardization of equipment components, empowering industry partners to innovate and contribute to the evolution of security solutions.

OA relies on the principles of standardization and interoperability, ensuring that software and hardware components adhere to common specifications. This approach allows a diverse range of industry stakeholders to contribute improved subcomponents, ranging from innovative detection algorithms to user interfaces and reporting systems.

Foundation: DICOS Standard and OPSL

For TSA, the foundation of OA is built upon the Digital Imaging and Communications in Security (DICOS) Standard and the Open Platform Software Library (OPSL), establishing common and accessible data and interface standards crucial for a connected transportation security system.

Collaborative Efforts with Industry Stakeholders

The success of Open Architecture is contingent upon collaborative efforts with industry stakeholders. TSA advocates for a diverse marketplace, emphasizing that OA is instrumental in supporting innovation across the community. By implementing multiple contract awards that target specific components of the screening environment, TSA reduces risks and lowers barriers to entry for industry partners. This approach encourages broader participation within different segments of the transportation security market, aligning with diverse business models.

Protecting Usability and Intellectual Property

Recognizing the importance of usability and the protection of intellectual property, TSA is committed to supporting OA solutions that accommodate the needs of Original Equipment Manufacturers and third-party developers. The agency actively engages with industry partners, acknowledging the significance of ensuring usability in other mission spaces while safeguarding intellectual property rights.

TSA’s Global Alignment with Open Architecture

TSA’s Open Architecture objectives extend beyond national borders, aligning with global priorities in aviation security. The agency collaborates directly with international partners to foster a unified market for aviation security equipment, aiming to reduce variation and complexity in the development of solutions. TSA’s commitment to international collaboration is detailed in the Open Architecture for Airport Security Systems 2nd Edition.

Near and Long-Term Plans

In terms of future plans, TSA is concurrently pursuing multiple Open Architecture initiatives to incrementally enable a connected aviation security system-of-systems. The near-term focus is on operationalizing mature Open Architecture concepts, with detailed objectives outlined in the Open Architecture Roadmap.

Addressing Complex Operational Challenges

The rationale behind TSA’s pursuit of an Open Architecture screening environment stems from the agency’s complex operational landscape. With the responsibility of screening over 2 million passengers daily at more than 430 federalized airports, the security screening system faces challenges arising from limited standardization of data and interfaces. The lack of standardization hampers TSA’s ability to achieve the desired security posture and respond rapidly to evolving threats. TSA emphasizes the imperative of adopting standards-based solutions that support interoperability, facilitate industry partnerships, and equip the frontline workforce with the necessary tools to perform their critical mission efficiently.

Read more about TSA’s open architecture plans here.

author avatar
Matt Seldon
Matt Seldon, BSc., is an Editorial Associate with HSToday. He has over 20 years of experience in writing, social media, and analytics. Matt has a degree in Computer Studies from the University of South Wales in the UK. His diverse work experience includes positions at the Department for Work and Pensions and various responsibilities for a wide variety of companies in the private sector. He has been writing and editing various blogs and online content for promotional and educational purposes in his job roles since first entering the workplace. Matt has run various social media campaigns over his career on platforms including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and LinkedIn on topics surrounding promotion and education. His educational campaigns have been on topics including charity volunteering in the public sector and personal finance goals.
Matt Seldon
Matt Seldon
Matt Seldon, BSc., is an Editorial Associate with HSToday. He has over 20 years of experience in writing, social media, and analytics. Matt has a degree in Computer Studies from the University of South Wales in the UK. His diverse work experience includes positions at the Department for Work and Pensions and various responsibilities for a wide variety of companies in the private sector. He has been writing and editing various blogs and online content for promotional and educational purposes in his job roles since first entering the workplace. Matt has run various social media campaigns over his career on platforms including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and LinkedIn on topics surrounding promotion and education. His educational campaigns have been on topics including charity volunteering in the public sector and personal finance goals.

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