TSA Places Major Order for MDI’s CTX 9800 DSi Explosives Detection Systems

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    A to Z of Sensors: TSA Places Major Order for MDI’s CTX 9800 DSi Explosives Detection Systems

    That's $1.19M apiece for something that does not really detect explosives but looks for things that look like "known threat explosives".

    I suppose if it works & gives the thieves fewer excuses for opening our baggage, that's a positive, but the description also suggests you could beat it by thinking of a novel way to design your bomb so that it doesn't resemble any "known threat explosive".
  2. Ciarin

    Ciarin Member

    I don't think it's referring to how it "looks like".
  3. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Did you actually read it?

    It's comparing an image of what's in the bag with image patterns of known "threat explosives".

    This seems so easy to spoof with a bit of creativity. For example, roll back the clock 50 years and use conductive ink on punched cards (the method used to provide "ROM" for 360/30 microcode). Would it detect this? Who needs wires?

    And the phrase "known threat explosives" is itself a giveway -- fighting yesterday's threats today, which seems to be TSA standard M.O.
  4. Ciarin

    Ciarin Member

    Yea I read it. The 3 dimensional image is for the screener, so they can clear the bag without having to go in it, or if they have to go in they can see where to look in the bag. This is exactly what the current ones do. The EDS itself doesn't actually "compares images" to determine if there's an explosive inside, lol.

    What would really be nice is if we could get the machines that not only do CT scans, but also use trace detection. Kinda like these in Australia.
  5. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    From that article:
    That's great. Australia is ending the war on liquids, and ramping up the war on passengers by going to AIT and body groping.
  6. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    Won't work.

    You see, screeners are idiots. They're morons. They've proven it themselves time and time again.

    They won't know which bag to check, or they'll pull one bag to look for drugs, which actually has a real-live bomb, and send it on its way.

    TSA can buy all of the whizbang gadgets it wants. As long as the workforce remains terminally stupid, it won't matter.
  7. Ciarin

    Ciarin Member

    England too I think.
  8. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Third time around -- apparently you do have some problems with reading comprehension:

    The computer and software are doing the comparison, not the operator.
  9. barbell

    barbell Coach Coach

    This argument reveals exactly the problem with TSA groupthink.

    They cannot, in any way imaginable, think around the possible unknown.

    They only look at and understand the known. For instance, Ciarin says, "Well, this is how it works. It's that simple." There is simply no possible way for a person brainwashed in TSA tactics to consider that what they are thinking is wrong. That what they think they know is wrong. They simply cannot comprehend that what they think, and what happens in reality, are two completely separate things.

    It's actually quite hilarious to watch. That is, except for the fact that the rest of us have to endure the stupidity.
  10. Ciarin

    Ciarin Member

    I know why you think it compares images. I get it. My reading comprehension is fine, you don't have to pretend I don't understand what's being said. Is it possible that you're wrong on this?
  11. Ciarin

    Ciarin Member

    Here, this might explain things better:

    "EDS machines are designed to detect the density and mass of an object, not the chemical composition. Explosives occupy a relatively unique density range, and this density is a telltale sign of a threat."

  12. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    We're not talking about the more common Invision machines; this is specifically about the CSX 9800DSi, of which the manufacturer own literature says relies on "industry-leading automated explosives detection technology". There's still an operator component, but the operator relies on the automation to highlight what's important.

    This just says to me that the bad guys need to innovate, and they're perfectly capable of doing that.
  13. TravelnMedic

    TravelnMedic Original Member

    Code is only good as the human that wrote it and if windows is any predictor of the coding, you can bet on bloated code and plenty of errors. Dimes to donuts say this only increases the thefts from bags by smurfs and ramp rats that are in league together.
  14. Ciarin

    Ciarin Member

    I'm pretty sure all EDS systems use the density bit to detect possible explosives. A system that used pictures would be worthless, since an explosive can look like anything.
  15. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    Can anyone say "puffer machine"?

    Almost certainly another device that doesn't work or will be so unreliable that it will make things even more miserable and waste more tax dollars.

    The scanners have proven idiotic. The video of the checkpoint shows over half the folks getting groped after using the scanner even though they are clear.What a bargain at over $400K a pop and extra personnel to operate.

    Same problem with the ETD., way too many false positives and for stupid reasons, hand lotion, fertilizer and bacon. Did anyone tell these morons that not all explosives contain nitrates?

    The entire Federal workforce needs to be cut by 50% with the exception of DHS/TSA. That should be cut 100%.
  16. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Actually that is not true. There are versions of NT & XP that are well-tested, very robust & used for highly reliable factory automation.
  17. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    So does that mean that they will be able to more accurately identify bags containing valuables that they can steal instead of the haphazard visual method being used today?
  18. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    It means that a well designed baggage screening system will be sufficiently robust & stay up long enough for the pedosmurf to locate his next iPad. What else is needed?

    That doesn't mean that all such systems are Windows. Windows is attractive for its networking cabilities, but Linux also has quite a following, especially for embedded applications.

    One note here: People confuse the two lines of windows. The original 16/32-bit Windows was built on DOS: Windows 3.x, 95, 98, (& I think ME). These were very unreliable as 16-bit software shared some resources.

    Windows NT & the current Windows releases trace their heritiage to OS/2, which was a 32-bit system Microsoft was developing for IBM. IBM canceled out of the project, but Microsoft evolved OS/2 into Windows NT & made its interface highly compatible with the 16/32 bit systems, which eventually were dropped in favor of the NT line.
  19. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    Or the whole SPOT program, with the "Lie To Me" wannabes wandering aimlessly around the airport accosting people and asking them stupid questions in the hopes of triggering "microexpressions?"

    Zero successes, and several complete failures with the SPOTniks turning out to be criminals (or just suicidal nutjobs...)

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