To help detect explosives in carry-on luggage, eight advanced technology computed tomography (CT) scanners with 3D imaging have been installed at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint at Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF).

“Our officers’ use of CT technology substantially improves our threat detection capability at the checkpoint,” said Bart R. Johnson, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Upstate New York. “Previously, our screening technology for carry-on bags used 2D images. The CT technology applies advanced algorithms for the detection of explosives, including liquid explosives and other threat items.”

The system applies algorithms for the detection of explosives by creating a 3D image that can be viewed and rotated 360 degrees on three axes for thorough visual image analysis by a transportation security officer. This technology creates a clear image of a bag’s contents, allowing the system to automatically detect explosives, including liquids, by shooting hundreds of images with an X-ray camera spinning around the conveyor belt.

The TSA officer can view the image and rotate it to get a better understanding of its contents, identifying an item inside the bag and clearing it without a need to open a bag for inspection.