BodySearch security technology improves safety
November 27, 2004 In an age of heightened security concerns - particularly at airports and major events - the ability to detect hidden materials has never been more paramount. AS&E's BodySearch personnel inspection system safely and quickly detects and displays threats or contraband hidden on a person - both in and under clothing. Designed to replace intrusive and time-consuming strip searches, the system provides better security than pat searches wherever these procedures are regularly performed.
BodySearch utilises proprietary Z Backscatter technology to clearly display both organic and inorganic materials hidden on a person's body. Z Backscatter technology provides the highest clarity photo-like images available, allowing accurate and rapid interpretation - unachievable with traditional transmission X-ray images alone.
Z Backscatter is AS&E's signature X-ray technology. Made possible by AS&E's patented Flying Spot, this technology is protected by more than 20 patents and is the proven approach for the discrimination of organic or "low Z" (i.e., low atomic number) materials such as explosives, drugs, cigarettes, and people, especially when hidden within a complex environment. Z Backscatter images reveal the shape and form of objects inside a container, providing context and clarity to expedite inspections. This photographic quality is unachievable with traditional transmission X-ray images alone.
With threats clearly visible in bright white, photo-like Z Backscatter images allow rapid image analysis, high throughput, and enhanced productivity while reducing operator fatigue.
The Compton Scattering Effect
AS&E's Z Backscatter inspection systems use electronically generated X-rays to examine an object. When X-rays interact with matter, they generally do one of three things:
1. They pass through the object 2. They are absorbed by the object 3. They are scattered from the object
Objects with greater density block or absorb more X-rays than objects with lesser density. These dense objects produce the characteristic shadow-like images similar to medical X-rays. These shadowgrams are produced by transmitted X-rays and are referred to as transmission X-ray images.
By comparison, a Z Backscatter image captures data from X-ray photons that are scattered from the object undergoing inspection. This primary scattering effect is known as "Compton Scattering." X-ray photons scatter differently when they encounter different types of materials. Compton scattering is material-dependent, with the lower atomic number materials scattering more strongly than the higher numbered ones (Higher atomic number elements are more likely to absorb X-rays, either before or after being scattered).
BodySearch is safe for both the operator and the person undergoing inspection. With AS&E's patented technology, the subject receives a radiation dose of only 5 microrem per scan - equivalent to 1/6,000th of a medical chest X-ray. BodySearch complies fully with all applicable federal health and safety regulations.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently purchased several AS&E BodySearch systems to test the new technologies for passenger screening at airports.
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