TSA awards multiple contracts to expand security technology

WASHINGTON, 22 Oct. 2007. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has awarded $52.3 million in contracts to deploy security technology piloted at airports and mass transit facilities in recent months, moving to quickly bring enhanced screening equipment to travelers. Newly procured technology includes: advanced technology X-ray; automated explosives detection for the checkpoint; bottled liquid scanners; passive millimeter wave; and a cast/prosthetics screening device.

WASHINGTON, 22 Oct. 2007. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has awarded $52.3 million in contracts to deploy security technology piloted at airports and mass transit facilities in recent months, moving to bring enhanced screening equipment to the nation's travelers. Newly procured technology includes: advanced technology (AT) X-ray; automated explosives detection (auto-EDS) for the checkpoint; bottled liquid scanners; passive millimeter wave; and a cast/prosthetics screening device.

Following pilot testing at Reagan National, New York-Kennedy, Los Angeles International, and Albuquerque airports, Rapiscan Systems (620DV) and Smiths Detection (HI-SCAN 6040aTIX) were awarded $9.3 million and $21 million contracts, respectively, to provide approximately 125 AT X-ray systems. AT X-ray refers to a group of high-definition, multiview systems that provides clearer, more defined images of baggage than traditional, single view X-ray currently in use by TSA.

In addition, TSA has purchased auto-EDS machines from Analogic Corporation and Reveal Imaging Technologies for checkpoint applications. Both companies' technology use computed tomography (CT), the same explosives detection technology used in checked baggage screening. The technology generates a three-dimensional image that can be viewed and rotated on three axes for thorough image evaluation. TSA has initially purchased 12 Cobra units from Analogic at a value of $7.6 million, and eight Fusion units from Reveal for $5.6 million.

TSA has procured passive millimeter wave technology from Planning Systems Inc., for use in mass transit environments. The technology detects and measures the waves naturally emitted by the human body and determines if there is anything concealed on the human body. TSA has purchased 12 SPO-7 units from Planning Systems for $3 million.

Spectrum San Diego has been awarded a $1.7 million contract for TSA to deploy 37 of its CastScope cast and prosthetics screening devices. The CastScope was designed to screen passengers with casts, braces, heavy bandages or prosthetics by providing a backscatter X-ray image for TSA to assess concealed threats.

TSA has awarded contracts to Nomadics Inc. and Smiths Detection for handheld explosives detection scanners. TSA procured 200 Fido PaxPoint units from Nomadics for $3.4 million to differentiate liquid explosives from common, benign liquids and 23 SABRE units from Smiths Detection for $650,000 to provide mobile explosive trace and vapor detection capabilities.

Many contracts allow for additional purchases over the next two years, and TSA will establish a deployment schedule for initial purchases in the coming weeks and months.

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