On February 18, US Representative for North Carolina’s 4th congressional district David Price visited Duke Engineering to learn how airport screening technologies have advanced in recent years. Representative Price was briefed by electrical and computer engineering (ECE) research professor Joel Greenberg, ECE associate professor Michael Gehm, and associate professor of Radiology Anuj Kapadia who are principals in a $5.83 million Department of Homeland Security (DHS) project to reinvent airport screening.
The Duke team can design a more accurate and cost-effective screening system by simulating the contents of tens of millions of virtual duffels and suitcases before shipping a physical system—an expensive endeavor in terms of both time and money—to a government lab for certification. Currently, a system might be tested on hundreds or thousands of bags, but it’s a small sample considering that 2.7 million people fly in and out of U.S airports every day, most of them carrying luggage. Simulations give developers a bigger pool of data and a better idea of what is likely to alarm the system.