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Duke University developing the future of airport security

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Lawmakers tour Duke University's research lab. Lawmakers tour Duke University's research lab.

New technology developed at Duke University could soon be the norm when it comes to airport security.

Duke is developing technology that would allow passengers to be screened while they walk down a corridor at a normal pace. Security would only stop them if the large antennas in the walls detect something that is a concern.

The university will put the technology into testing in the next year to 2 years for the TSA and Department of Homeland Security.

Researchers say it could be in airports in 3 years.

Duke is also working on an X-ray device that does more than detect if something is there, it actually reads the molecular structure so screeners would know exactly what kind of metal you have on you.

"We're engineers. We do stuff to make impact," said David Brady, a Duke professor of electrical engineering. "That's how we define our careers, how what we do gets out in scales and people use it."

Members of Congress toured the university's research labs today to see the technology for themselves. Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) said, "It's important to have that research in one place and the Department of Homeland Security has recognized that."

"There's got to be constant research," Price said, "and improvement of our screening techniques partly because the bad guys can figure some of these things out and stay ahead of the curve in terms of escaping detecting, but also because we want to have a more convenient system for the traveling public."

The university also showed off a gigapixel camera that equals the quality of 1,500 megapixels. The camera could be used to get detailed surveillance.

Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

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