The TSA has partnered with the Los Angeles County Metro to deploy a new portable passenger screening technology that will help detect weapon and explosive device security threats on the county’s transit system.

Following a series of tests over the last year of TSA-vetted and approved security technologies at its stations, Metro has purchased several Thruvision TAC-TS4 portable terahertz millimeter wave passenger screening devices. The units can be placed at locations throughout the Metro system and are equipped with software that quickly and unobtrusively screens individuals for concealed threats. The units can identify both metallic and non-metallic objects.

The devices identify objects that block the naturally occurring waves produced by a person’s body. When an object is hidden in clothing or strapped to a person, these waves are blocked and detected by the system’s software. The software generates generic avatars and creates either a black spot on the area of the body where the item is concealed or overlays a color indicator. The technology does not emit radiation of any kind and no anatomical details are displayed. The device allows law enforcement agents and Metro Security to screen rail and bus patrons without disrupting foot traffic and to take decisive, pre-emptive action if suspicious items are found.

“Metro has been an industry leader in testing new technologies to meet evolving threats to our public transportation infrastructure,” said Sheila Kuehl, L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair. “This new technology will augment our already aggressive safety and security measures and help us proactively deter potential attacks to our system.”