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Duke University unveils airport safety research

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TWC News: Duke University unveils airport safety research
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DURHAM -- The future of airport security might be being developed at Duke University. On Wednesday four members of Congress discussed airport security with researchers, a timely visit given recent events.

For the past year Duke University professor Daniel Marks has been working on an electronic scanning machine.

"There's no need to pose. There's no need to even stop. It will just build a three dimensional image of you," said Duke University Engineering professor Daniel Marks.

While the gun is tin foil, the scanner aims to stop the real thing from getting through airport security by using millimeter waves to detect metallic objects, from scanners to gigapixel cameras.

"You can kind of think of it as a sort of like a telescope with a single big ball lens and then sort of hundreds of little telescope eye pieces," said Duke University Engineering professor Daniel Marks.

Congressman Richard Hudson, who is chair of the House Transportation Security Subcommittee, got a look at several different advanced screening technologies researchers have been working on.

"The threat is out there. There are terrorists who want to kill Americans. They want to bring down an airplane if they can. They're developing technologies to do that, and so we've got to stay ahead of them and what's going on at Duke University is a big part of that," said Representative Richard Hudson.

Airport security is always evolving.

"You can have technology that identifies threats with less intrusive and more effectiveness and at lower cost," said Duke University Engineering professor David Brady.

And Duke is hoping to spearhead some of those advances in technology

"We'd like to bring the cost down to where we could have walk through rapid screening technologies in federal buildings and schools," said Brady.

It is an ongoing effort to help airline passengers get from gate to gate safely.

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