DHS S&T Awards Arlington, MA Based Start-up Funding for Self-Screening TSA Checkpoints

WASHINGTON – The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated efforts to minimize Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer and traveler interaction during airport screening while maintaining the same level of security. Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) announces $199,950 in Phase 1 funding to Lauretta AI, LLC, a start-up based in Arlington, Massachusetts, to adapt their video analytic solution to meet TSA’s needs. The Phase 1 award was made under SVIP’s Emerging Needs: COVID-19 Response & Future Mitigation solicitation.

DHS S&T’s Screening at Speed Program (SaS) and TSA’s Innovation Task Force (ITF) have been exploring the use of self-screening portals at airport security checkpoints. This effort began prior to the pandemic, but now has accelerated due to COVID-19-related protective measures to minimize exposure and physical contact between TSA transportation security officers and airline passengers. SVIP and ITF are seeking solutions to validate that passengers are properly progressing through the screening process, abnormal behaviors are detected when going through a self-screening portal, and social distancing measures are maintained.

The project proposes to adapt commercially available behavior recognition systems, which use artificial intelligence (AI) technology, to anonymously monitor passengers, their personal items, and carry-on luggage throughout TSA’s airport security screening process. Lauretta AI’s video analytics solution uses off-the-shelf closed-circuit television cameras at screening stations to deter passenger from attempting to circumvent or evade airport security screening protocols and to identify passengers who may need assistance.

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