Carey Rappaport, professor of electrical and computer engineering
Rappaport and his team are developing technology for airport scanning that will make your trip through the security checkpoint faster—and that could make your flight safer.
Existing millimeter wave scanners—the kind you’d walk through at any airport from Boston to Beijing—are good at distinguishing between skin and a metal knife. But human bodies have contours and curves, and existing scanning technology is not so good at detecting objects, such as weapons and explosive devices, small enough to fit into those contours.
In those cases, the scanner can yield an ambiguous picture, which then requires a manual pat-down of the passenger, or it can miss an object completely.
Rappaport’s system uses multiple sensors and detectors rather than the current scanner’s single detector. Coupled with highly advanced processing algorithms, his technology has the capability to detect more kinds of materials, including explosives, more quickly and accurately.