future of airport security

According to the International Air Transport Association, about 8 million travelers make their way through airports around the world each day. Traditional security requires passengers to stand still while being screened, but Northeastern researchers are developing cutting-edge technology that can detect suspicious behavior-even when passengers are on the move.


When you arrive at the airport, you and thousands of other people share the same goal: to get to your plane on time. You are part of a chaotic scene of travelers moving to and from curbside drop off, ticket counters, security checkpoints, and gates.

Monitoring those thousands of people on the move for suspicious behavior can be a daunting task, but Northeastern professor Carey Rappaport is working on an innovative method to do just that.


You’re waiting to get your boarding pass or go through the first security checkpoint, unaware of whether or not people nearby may have a weapon hidden in their luggage or under their clothes, and are planning an attack.

Seeing the unseen and identifying a concealed threat is the focus of assistant professor Jose Martinez Lorenzo’s research.


Welcome to your destination. You and your fellow travelers quickly make your way through the maze of gates and airport walkways to the baggage claim, visualizing where you will be once you exit the airport.

You’re focused on your final destination, so you may not notice whether someone is walking in the wrong direction or has left a bag behind. But that’s the job of a system developed by Northeastern researchers.

ON THE MOVE: Carey Rappaport, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering