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Detection project

An x-ray inspection product company, has collaborated with University College London (UCL) to deliver the proof of principle system for a project funded under the Innovative Research Call in Explosives and Weapons Detection (2007).

That’s a cross-government programme sponsored by a number of government departments and agencies under the CONTEST counter-terrorism strategy. It is hoped the system could provide an alternative to CT scanning to replace 2D x-ray inspection as a first line of defence in screening baggage. The team at University College London, headed by Prof Robert Speller, did a feasibility study into methods of producing 3D tomographic images for baggage inspection. 3DX-RAY provided the hardware and systems expertise to integrate the UCL new tomographic imaging software to produce a proof of principle system. Checked baggage inspection is described as a multi-layered process designed to weed out false-alarms from genuine threats through a series of timely and complex inspections. The first line of defence is 2D x-rays that are not always ideal because they throw up high false alarm rates. While CT scanning x-ray techniques are more accurate, they are also costly and slow. UCL believes it has identified a more accurate and effective system that will lower the volume of bags that have to go for additional screening. The researchers realised they can achieve the same effect, as CT scanning x-ray techniques, by collecting images from multiple angles using 2D x-ray sources and detectors with an overhead visual camera and using intelligent algorithms to collate these x-ray ‘slices’ and produce 3D images. These images will allow operators to be able to see the shape of the objects and to determine types of material too.


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