Following the release of its first open architecture roadmap for security detection equipment, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) last Friday released a Request for Information to better understand the capabilities of vendors in this area and the risks and challenges they see.

TSA Administrator David Pekoske has been pursuing open architecture efforts to achieve some level of standardization across its various transportation screening equipment in part to break dependency on original equipment vendors for enhancements and upgrades to their respective systems to increase competition and innovation and decrease costs.

Those upgrades could include new algorithms to improve detection and decrease false alarms, create standardized user displays across platforms, improve reporting systems, and more, TSA says.

The agency also wants to eventually be able to connect the different types of screening systems it used to create a system-of-systems that would enable dynamic screening.

“The current screening system is highly complex, with limited standardization of data and interfaces,” the Feb. 10 RFI says. “The lack of standardization limits TSA’s ability to quickly adopt state-of-the art solutions to address emerging threats and share information in real-time across screening solutions to enable a risk-based dynamic screening environment. It also puts an ever-increasing burden on TSA’s frontline officers to perform the critical screening function with cumbersome procedures, complex training, and varied user interfaces.”

The RFI outlines four initiatives to implement open architecture principles and connect its security equipment. The initiatives are: common data formats and interfaces to facilitate interoperability, including the Digital Imaging and Communications in Security, and Open Platform Software Library; data accessibility to establish a comprehensive dataset for interested vendors to apply artificial intelligence, machine learning and other capabilities to develop improved solutions; a common workstation to standardize the physical and graphical user interrace across screening equipment to make it easier to train, and reduce complexity for, frontline officers; and a threat recognition system.

TSA is seeking responses to the RFI (Notice ID: TSA25-04-03789) by Sept. 30.