The Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration’s Science and Technology Directorate has issued a request for information and proposals on devices that can scan cargo for stowaways, NextGov reports.
Aliya Sternstein writes that the TSA wants equipment that can examine containers, crates, and boxes that weigh more than 150 pounds.
There are no specifications for the technical aspects of the device, but DHS requests the tool be speedy and accurate.
Aviation security consultant Douglas R. Laird told NBC News that there are currently no technological options in use to screen large cargo such as containers.
The device must be able to screen through wood, plastic, metal, cardboard, and fiberglass.
Aside from stowaways, the technology should be able to detect “fish and meat, produce, flowers, paper, clothes, electronics, machine parts and other durable goods.”
Official documents say the new tool, when introduced, would be added to the TSA’s Air Cargo Screening Technology List for the industry’s perusal.
The agency asks that photos of the device, an explanation of how the science behind it works and any available literature be included with the proposal.