• DetectionKeeping TSA Detection Systems in Check

    As the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screens nearly two million people each day, officers are faced with the challenge of finding even the smallest sign of a threat. Microscopic particles of explosives can cling to a nefarious actor despite their best intentions to conceal any evidence of hidden contraband on their person or in their bags. S&T chemist Dr. Jim Deline developed a novel method to more efficiently test TSA detection equipment.

  • Security screeningFaster, Smarter Security Screening Systems

    By now, attendees to sporting events, visitors to office buildings, and especially frequent fliers are all quite familiar with the technologies used at security checkpoints. You arrive at the security checkpoint, check your bags, show your ID and maybe your ticket or boarding pass, throw away the coffee or water you’ve been chugging, and then wait in a long line until it is your turn to be screened. The security lines can be inconvenient. S&T and partners are working to help security screening systems, whether at airports, government facilities, border checkpoints, or public spaces like arenas, to work faster and smarter.

  • DirigiblesReturning Airships to the Skies

    The transport sector is responsible for around 25 percent of global CO2 emissions caused by humans. Reintroducing airships into the world’s transportation-mix could contribute to lowering the transport sector’s carbon emissions and can play a role in establishing a sustainable hydrogen-based economy.

  • DronesAssessing the Danger of Drone Strike

    The rapid rise in the number of drones worldwide has been accompanied by increasing reports of near misses with commercial aircraft. Bird-strike tests for aircraft are mandatory, but to date, however, there is no equivalent standard test procedure for collisions with drones.

  • TerrorismHezbollah operative collected sensitive information about Toronto Airport for potential future attack

    An operative for the Iranian-backed terrorist organization Hezbollah collected “detailed information” about Toronto’s Pearson airport, according to a report released by Canada’s air safety agency on Tuesday. The Hezbollah operative also scouted New York’s JFK airport and U.S government facilities, as well as identifying Israelis in the United States who could be targeted by the Iranian-sponsored terrorist group.

  • Airport security Shoe scanner may improve airport security

    The types of shoes you wear when flying matter. And not just shoe types. Size, material, soles and heels are also very important. Why? Shoes can become dangerous vehicles for terrorists’ plots. DHS wants to prevent future incidents, and this is why S&T is working on a millimeter wave technology for screening shoes as part of the larger Screening at Speed Program.

  • DronesHawk’s pursuit technique can help counter-drone defenses

    Hawks steer their pursuit of evasive prey using a feedback system that differs fundamentally from the missile-like interception system of falcons.

  • Flying carsFlying cars: automating the skies means playing with our lives

    By Jonathan Aitken

    Recent research suggests that flying cars could eventually be a sustainable way to free up roads. The first models are set to hit our skies in 2019 as personal playthings, while industry sees them as taxis and commuter vehicles of the future. But as Harry Potter’s encounter with the Whomping Whillow reminds us, flying cars can be dangerous. Before futuristic visions of three-dimensional sprawling city traffic can approach reality, there are some serious safety issues that need addressing.

  • Flying carsFlying colors: Assessing the role of flying cars in sustainable mobility

    A new study of the environmental sustainability impacts of flying cars, formally known as electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, or VTOLs, finds that they wouldn’t be suitable for a short commute. However, VTOLs—which combine the convenience of vertical takeoff and landing like a helicopter with the efficient aerodynamic flight of an airplane—could play a niche role in sustainable mobility for longer trips.

  • LockerbieFormer East German agents questioned in Lockerbie bombing probe

    Hundreds were killed when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over the Scottish village of Lockerbie in December 1988. Libya later took responsibility and paid compensation to the victims’ families — and one of its secret agents spent eleven years in jail for the attack. Scottish and German investigators, acting on newly revealed information, are now looking onto the possibility that agents of STASI — East Germany’s secret police — were involved.

  • DronesSecuring drone traffic

    In a couple of years, the number of drones in the U.S. national airspace is projected to grow to more than seven million. So many drones together in the air at once has the potential to create serious safety, efficiency and security issues if not regulated. The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM) infrastructure will manage national airspace drone traffic in the future, and it is being rolled out in phases over time.

  • Cargo screeningIncreasing efficiency of air cargo screening

    Air Cargo skids and pallets take up a large amount of space on every commercial passenger flight.  Federal law requires this cargo be screened at the same level as checked baggage.  Single and dual energy X-ray systems can be scaled up to screen air cargo skids, but they produce two-dimensional views of air cargo that are often difficult for screeners to interpret due to the complexity of the content’s image. Increases in computing power, algorithmic complexity, and machine learning capabilities offer opportunities to enhance current X-ray screening capabilities.

  • Airport securityDrone jamming system to protect European airports, public spaces

    Airports could be equipped with technology capable of detecting and bringing down drones that stray into their air space, according to Dan Hermansen, chief technology officer of Danish anti-drone firm MyDefence. The company has developed a drone alarm and protection system that is being installed at a number of prominent sites around Europe, including an airport. It has the potential to prevent the kind of costly disruption that hit London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports recently.

  • DronesIsraeli Drone Dome helps Gatwick airport to avoid shutdown

    Drone Dome, from Israeli defense company Rafael, pinpoints a suspicious drone and jams the radio frequencies used by its operator to control it, rendering the UAV unable to move. The British military had purchased the system a few months ago, and used it during the drone sightings at London’s Gatwick Airport.

  • DronesWays to stop a rogue drone

    By Anna Jackman

    The mounting threat of drone users not following aviation regulation or committing crimes means police need effective ways to stop and capture rogue devices. One of the key challenges for any anti-drone counter-measure is that the typical small size of most drones makes them difficult to detect and target. One novel and widely reported idea being explored by the Dutch National Police is the training of bald eagles to down drones. A perfect solution has yet to be found, but interest and investment in drone countermeasures is increasing, giving authorities a growing number of options for tackling rogue drones.