TSA testing new bomb detection technology

ABC News' Aaron Katersky explains the systems that could become widely used to thwart would-be suicide bombers.
5:26 | 02/27/18

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Transcript for TSA testing new bomb detection technology
This is ABC's Erin kicked her ski we are alive and Penn Station the nation's busiest train station where the Transportation Security Administration. Is testing technology that could one day stop the next suicide bomber from entering a busy rail hub like this. This technology has been used at the Super Bowl it has been used for a papal visit here in New York. But it is never been deployed by transit systems and so the TSA. Working with a Amtrak police. Trying to decide if this would be a good way to detect someone nefarious who wants to do harm. In the rail station and here's how it works you see anybody coming down the stairs. It appears. Like a green blob green is good. If someone had something strapped to them that could be potentially harmful. Well that would appear to be read or what appeared to be a black box. And it CS a machine detected it Amtrak police could then intervened sending canine unit or some officer. To try and stop that individual before that person penetrates deeper into the station. There are a couple of models that the TSA is testing we can come take a look this is one the front of it looks like your basic. Screen it's just a scanner and it can be positioned at any entrance it can be moved from station to station or around the station. Unlike the airport there is nothing permanent in place at a train station for any passenger to go through you don't have to take out of your. Your cell phone you don't have to remove your shoes you don't even have to drop your backpack and put it through a scanner. This is a passive and invasive kind of a thing and the same thing with this next model over here. This one. To me looks more like a spotlight mounted on a tripod but it's the same kind of a thing a scanner. That has its lenses trained on the staircase. Or the escalator right here independent station. Any if it detects something. Is wrong. It would show up on the screen come we'll show you how it works. This scanner is connected to a computer monitor. And look you can see. A passenger coming down the steps and it's an ordinary green bar green is good and so there is nothing to worry about with this particular passenger. But if you take a look at someone else who might have something strapped to them well then. That person would show up as red and again a police officer could intervene. This technology is being tested for use in. This particular transit station and other rail hubs around the country. And it does have the ability that TSA says to stop a suicide bomber like the one we saw. Effect the New York City transit system back in December up Bangladeshi immigrant named fox idea to look. Had gone into the subway and in a passageway beneath Times Square. Detonated at crude pipe bomb type device strapped to his chest fortunately with that device. Nobody else but the suicide bomber himself was hurt but this is the kind of technology. That potentially could be deployed. Here at the Amtrak station. In commuter rail stations in subway stations so that. Before someone gets deep into the area where passengers are like this busy rail hub here. That person could be stopped at the entrance by Amtrak police or some other police agency probably with a dog first and then that person could be. Dealt with appropriately. The TSA says this kind of stuff works because it's not invasive nobody has to do anything but. Walk by and indeed. As work. Talking here you can see in a busy rail hub like this how many people are simply strolling down the stairs are. Coming down the escalator in order to come in here to Penn Station. If it works this technology could be deployed in this rail hub and others by the end of the year. And perhaps it could be used nationwide. The Transportation Security Administration would not buy these things it would be up to the individual mass transit systems to buy them. However. They could then be to deploy free use very very quickly. We're getting a look at this technology. Again just a little bit of a scanner mounted on a tripod and somebody on the other in taking a look at what. Would be strapped to the body. The imagery is interesting it detects and normal emissions from the human body and the scanner is looking for any anomalies. As we walk down these steps we are naturally. Giving off different emissions and the imagery is looking for any anomalies and if the scanner detects something. That's exactly. What would be flagged to the police agency. Ideally it would be. A way to stop the next would be suicide bomber that would want to do harm in mass transit station like this one Penn Station. Here in New York. And that's where we are alive. Where the TSA is testing some of this new equipment and technology. That could potentially save lives and Aaron theaters ski. ABC news.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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