Project: Digital Colour X-Ray Security Scanning System

This project aims to resolve a major issue in transportation security: the fundamental requirement of any passenger monitoring security system to provide accurate information on the presence or otherwise of threat materials in passenger baggage, whether it is in checked or carry-on baggage systems for airports, mass transportation, facility security, or event security. The accuracy of the system is derived in two ways:_x000D__x000D_a) Probability of Detection (POD) of the threat material itself; and _x000D_b) The Number of False Alarms (FAR) created by the equipment’s inability to differentiate between threat and benign materials. _x000D_Both a) and b) above have to be achieved in a timely manner, less than 20 seconds being the maximum time envelope available. _x000D__x000D_The goal of this project is the development of an innovative core digital colour X-ray Scanning System (DCXScan) and component technologies that will provide both in-line and subsequently in-bag liquid threat screening capability and to give a global lead in x-ray checkpoint security capability by providing the highest POD and the lowest FAR – measured both against defined European and International standards. Existing equipment does not provide the accuracy of measurement and the low levels of False Alarms necessary to enable economic deployment across world airports to combat the challenges faced in the detection of explosives and other known threat materials carried into public spaces particularly in liquid, aerosol or gel form. Current known levels of equipment False Alarm rates range between 15-25% for the highest rated standard equipment. It has been recently estimated by Schipol Airport for example that current market equipment is not economically viable for airports, would lead to passenger chaos and threatens to delay full implementation of European screening regulations._x000D__x000D_The project addresses the most immediate need for multi-container Liquid Explosive Detection Systems (LEDS) that can quickly and accurately identify threats in all Liquids, Aerosols and Gels (LAGs) carried in hand luggage. To meet the needs of stakeholders these systems must have a significantly lower false alarm rate than currently developed systems, whilst still COtain the levels of threat detection and be fast and affordable. The targeted False Alarm rate for the DCXScan system represents a 75% reduction over existing systems with major reource and cost saving implications for airports._x000D__x000D_The project will enable a new liquid threat x-ray scanner product to be tested and available for the market by late 2013 early 2014, initially aimed at the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) 'Type C' and subsequently ‘Type D’ capability (see Annex A xx), which will enable threat detection of LAGs within hand luggage. This will allow current restrictions on carrying LAGs to be lifted, improving passenger security and reducing checkpoint waiting time. _x000D__x000D_The technology is based on multi spectral x-ray absorption measurements made during x-ray slice scans through the investigated object or multiple objects, followed by the use of advanced mathematical algorithms to reconstruct and classify the object(s) and contents using the materials discriminating abilities of the spectral detector. The use of multi-spectral x-ray technology, particularly in single bottle scanning is something that the lead P has a great deal of experience in. However, the current single bottle scanning time has to be reduced by three orders of magnitude and information accumulated from multiple pixels in order to provide an accurate threat/benign differentiation in a multi-container environment. _x000D__x000D_To achieve the combination of this information will require the development of 3 key technologies: _x000D__x000D_- The manufacture of detectors of identical performance; _x000D_- The calibration of these detectors to take into account key effects; and _x000D_- A materials identification basis which allows efficient and useful addition of different x-ray paths through an object. _x000D__x000D_This new technology has also to be introduced in an economical method to enable affordable end-user systems to be marketed. So this together with the technology developmnet represent the 4 key challenges addressed by the project._x000D__x000D_The project consortium is led by an R&D-performing SME with expertise in digital colour x-ray detector array design and manufacture and with existing products for liquid explosives detection. The lead P is joined by another R&D-performing SME and an x-ray imaging research group from a leading European medical research institute. These Ps provide complementary expertise and tools in x-ray image processing, x-ray materials identification, tomographic systems design and tomographic data processing. This project therefore combines the best emerging technologies and methods with a world-renowned European research institute to develop a new technology platform with applications initially security but also other market sectors. _x000D__x000D_

Acronym DCXScan (Reference Number: 7308)
Duration 01/10/2012 - 30/05/2014
Project Topic The project is aimed at the development of an innovative Digital Colour X-ray Security Scanning System (DCXScan) and component hardware and software technologies aimed primarily at Liquid Explosive Detection for checkpoint baggage screening.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
The Eurostars Consortium of this project successfully achieved the project goal of developing a novel x-ray scanning system employing multi-spectral x-ray detector technology for in-line Type C liquid threat detection. The developed system meets the project requirements of a false alarm rate below 5% and a high threat detection probability, which was independently certified by an official test institute. DKFZ worked COly on algorithm and software development. For our research group the CO output of this project is a significant gain in know-how regarding both novel multi-spectral detectors and material property reconstruction based on only very few x-ray projections. This know-how is important and valuable for future research of our group, especially in the field of medical imaging.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 8

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
3 Deutsches Krebsforschungeszentrum Partner Germany
3 Kromek Limited Coordinator United Kingdom
3 Accent Pro 2000 s.r.l Partner Romania