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Security

Advanced cargo scanner set for tests at JFK

29 April 2019
MVCT produces a richer image for the operator than conventional CT or X-ray cargo screening systems, said Astrophysics. Source: Astrophysics

Trials of a new cargo scanner from Astrophysics, Inc are scheduled to begin in mid-2019 at New York JFK International Airport.

Astrophysics launched the Multi-View Computed Tomography (MVCT) system in February as the culmination of a six-year research and development programme that included input from the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T).

MVCT combines the complementary techniques of multiview radiographic X-ray transmission and 3D CT (on a static gantry) to screen densely packed cargo in pallets without the need to individually take items out for security inspection.

The system uses a 450 kV generator for contrast screening of dense cargo at double the penetration depth (minimum 90 mm through steel) of a standard cargo X-ray system.

Additionally, the clarity of MVCT images enables operators to identify and pinpoint threats in any location within the cargo pallet. A rich multicoloured display helps the operator identify threat items in cargo (different materials are colour-coded).

The combination of technologies, enhanced material discrimination, high-powered generator, and the ability to scan whole pallets and containers means that MVCT can scan cargo up to four times faster than a conventional cargo X-ray machine, according to Astrophysics. This, in turn, accelerates the return on investment.

The operator scans the pallet in up to five passes: a single pass produces a scan that generates seven images of the pallet, each taken from a distinct angle. This radiographic X-ray method can process up to 60 pallets per hour, Astrophysics estimated.

To inspect high-density, cluttered, or non-homogeneous pallets, MVCT combines image data from five multiview passes to reconstruct a 3D CT image of the pallet. This image can be rotated on screen as the pallet goes through the 125.7×170.2 cm tunnel, giving operators a 360° view of the pallet. This CT-based method has a throughput rate of up to 20 pallets per hour.

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To contact the author of this article, email Ben.Vogel@ihsmarkit.com


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