Remember the first time you used a smartphone? If it was anything like my first experience, you found that you didn’t really have to learn anything – you just turned it on, and the visual icons were self-explanatory.
For this DeteCT interview, we were very grateful to get the insights and perspectives of scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, and aviation security visionary, David Wiley. David is president of Stratovan Corporation, a developer of software applications for the medical and security industries. David founded Stratovan in 2005 and spearheaded the company’s expansion into airport security. David earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of California, Davis, and served as a post-doctoral researcher for three years at UC Davis. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed publications in journals, conference proceedings and books and is the author of seven US-issued and other pending patents for new software technologies.
Implementing new checkpoint security technology in a live airport environment is a big deal. It’s not enough to meet the security requirements of global regulators; it also has to work effectively with checkpoint operators and real passengers. That is why the recent trial of the Analogic ConneCT checkpoint security system at Narita airport was so important. Japan is planning to upgrade its aviation security technology in preparation for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Government regulators and airport operators are keenly interested in the potential of checkpoint CT technology to improve security and passenger throughput prior to the Games, and invited Analogic to demonstrate ConneCT at Narita Airport. Over a period of several weeks, ConneCT was used to screen “live” passenger carry-on bags at one of Japan’s busiest airports. How did it do? According to Analogic’s Japanese partner, Teikoku Sen-I Co., ConneCT impressed everyone with its next-generation features as well as our team’s depth of expertise in CT technology. Specifically, the team at Narita was impressed with the following features of ConneCT:
Our Analogic Security and Detection team recently returned from the 2018 Passenger Terminal Expo (PTE) in beautiful but very chilly Stockholm, Sweden. Despite the occasional snow flurry, the event was a major success for us. We conducted checkpoint CT demonstrations of our ConneCT product for more than 25 airports located worldwide and spoke to current and potential distributor-sales partners from Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Here are a few of our takeaways from the expo:
For this DeteCT expert interview, we are fortunate to get the perspective of Christopher Bidwell. He has had a distinguished career in aviation security and a unique understanding of how industry stakeholders work with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). In his current role as Vice President of Security for Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA), he works with the TSA and Congress to identify risk-based aviation security measures that increase both efficiency and effectiveness, and serves as ACI-NA’s technical expert on aviation security processes, procedures, technology. Prior to ACI-NA, he was managing director for security at the Air Transport Association, and held safety and security management roles at American Airlines, Reno Air, and United Airlines.
Recently, we highlighted Analogic’s long history of innovation in medical and aviation security CT. We provided side-by-side images comparing medical CT with 2D X-ray to demonstrate the additional level of detail that CT provides over 2D X-ray. To build on this, we spoke with Robert Ferguson, MD, chief radiologist with MetroHealth Medical Center for his perspective on why CT is superior to 2D X-ray. Here is what he had to say:
In a recent blog post, From COBRA to ConneCT: Innovations That Make Analogic Checkpoint CT Industry Leading, we compared and contrasted the differences between our first-generation COBRA checkpoint CT system, which was launched in 2007, and our new next-generation Analogic ConneCT system. In addition to the technical innovations that have gone into the next-generation ConneCT system, there are additional image-analysis and user-interface features that can only be found on the Analogic ConneCT system. These features, which we discuss below, not only help address passenger throughput needs but also directly improve aviation security and threat detection – the core mission for any checkpoint CT system.
With over 1200 aviation security CT systems installed globally, we understand that for many airports, better threat detection requires making it easy for human operators to quickly analyze images of screened carry-on bags. That is why when we designed ConneCT, we included a powerful combination of image analysis tools that no one else in the industry provides:
In the last year, the aviation industry, government agencies, lawmakers, the media and even the general public have realized the benefits of checkpoint CT (computed tomography) technology over the currently used 2D X-ray systems. In what seems like a nanosecond, key stakeholders have gone from asking “What is checkpoint CT?” to “How fast can checkpoint CT be deployed at airports?”
Aviation security professionals have long warned about the ability of terrorists to find new ways to attack the flying public, and since 9/11 it seems every few years we have witnessed a new, chilling example of terrorist ingenuity and flexibility.
In the United States, the development and adoption of new aviation security technology is often the result of a complex process involving not only airports, airlines, and technology manufacturers – but most notably the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and theU.S. Congress. To help make sense of this often-confusing dynamic, we turned to Michael Higdon, founder and CEO of consulting firm A1.9 Strategies LLC. Prior to starting A1.9, Higdon worked for a top 10 Washington lobbying firm and was chief of staff to U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.). In total, Higdon spent 14 years on Capitol Hill working with Congressional appropriations subcommittees including Homeland Security, Transportation, Energy & Water, Defense, Interior-EPA and Agriculture.