U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Government Website

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Safely connect using HTTPS

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Apex Screening at Speed

Graphic rendition of airport check point in the future.The  Apex Screening at Speed (SaS) Program is pursuing transformative R&D activities that support a future vision for increasing security effectiveness while dramatically reducing wait times and improving the passenger experience.

TSA requires detection technologies that effectively and efficiently screen people for concealed explosive threats. Currently, as people move through checkpoints they must remove outerwear, footwear, belts and headwear, slowing the line and decreasing public acceptance. False alarms are frequent, causing inconvenient and intrusive pat-downs and searches. Apex SaS is developing technology that would enable the scanning of walking passengers, acquiring data through most garments and reliably detecting a wider range of prohibited items regardless of concealment.

TSA also requires detection technologies that effectively and efficiently screen carry-on bags and items for explosive threats. Present-day X-ray technologies require manual review and frequently stop the line for unnecessary alarms. Future systems that record and analyze a richer array of data from each bag would provide greater security while limiting the number of invasive, time-consuming false alarms, all without the need for today’s cumbersome restrictions on removing electronic devices, liquids, aerosols, and gels from the bag while it is scanned.

The Apex SaS Program will also integrate these screening tools with wide-area surveillance, airport risk assessment modeling, credential authentication, risk-based screening, and other technologies to further reduce the overall risk throughout an airport. As Apex SaS technologies enable the rapid screening of passengers and their belongings, it is anticipated that other operational uses, such as at special events and stadiums, and in mass transit, will become feasible.

Learn more about our R&D mission and discover how you can Work with S&T to help strengthen the nation's homeland security!

Last Updated: 02/24/2022
Was this page helpful?
This page was not helpful because the content