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  • Researchers solve major security problems for airports

    FedScoop - 02/12/2014

    How do you detect a person who enters a building through the exit? It may seem like a simple question, but for the Transportation Security Administration and airports across the country it’s a major security challenge.

    TSA security checkpoints are designed to ensure that only screened and ticketed passengers have been allowed to enter the secure area of the airport — basically the gate areas where passengers board their flights. But when somebody inadvertently or deliberately enters the secure gate area through the exit — the passageway reserved for arriving passengers as they head to baggage claim or to catch a taxi — security officials have no choice but to force everybody to pass through security a second time.

    That process, known as dumping the airport, can cause flight delays and cost millions of dollars.

    But researchers from Northeastern University’s College of Engineering, backed by the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, have found a way to solve the problem known as “counterflow intruders.” Using advanced video analytics technologies, researchers have been able to not only detect a person trying to enter the secure area through an exit, but to also remember that person’s identity and track him or her throughout the airport.

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