Feds Flooded With Ideas to Fight Terror

At the Transportation Security Administration, which got an additional 5,000 technology ideas to help specifically with aviation security, nearly all resources have had to go towards installing more checked baggage detectors and hiring federal screeners.

Susan Hallowell, the director of technology at TSA's testing laboratory in Atlantic City, told ABCNEWS that, no funding for research and development into future technologies for airports has been possible since Sept. 11.

Among the proposals discarded during the funding slowdown: new technology by Massachusetts-based security technology firm CyTerra that could detect non-metallic weapons — like plastic explosives — on airline passengers. The hand-held device uses ground-penetrating radar — the same technology in CyTerra's next generation landmine detectors purchased by the Army for use in Operating Enduring Freedom.

"They just didn't fund anybody. And that, I find that very troublesome," said David Fine, president and CEO of CyTerra.

But Jeff David argues the most critical tools are getting to those who need them. "We've grown from $115 to almost $200 million in one year — the highest priority projects are getting funded," he said.

The next innovation? A six-wheeled robot that can scale walls or climb up and down stairs inside buildings to look for bombs. Another tool the government wants, but hopes it will never have to use.

— ABCNEWS' Kendra Gahagan contributed to this report.

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