PNNL Advancing Airport Security - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

PNNL Advancing Airport Security

Posted: Updated:

RICHLAND, Wash.- Big changes could be in the works at airport security thanks to work at Pacific Northwest National Lab.

No one has signed off on it yet, but if the Transportation Security Administration decides to go with the new technology, metal detectors and physical pat-downs could be a thing of the past.

PNNL researchers developed the Safescout 100.

It scans your entire body just like a metal detector, but it instead builds a virtual model of your body and tells security if you're carrying anything illegal, erasing a need for those controversial random pat-downs.

"It uses radio frequency waves to make a picture of a human and it can actually look under the clothing and discern concealed objects that someone might be carrying," said Bill Farris with the Lab.

The system's already being used by countries in Europe and the Middle East for air and train travel, but TSA is yet to approve it.