Air cargo explosive screening: new requirements, new solutions
Starting December 3, 2012, all air cargo routed to the United States will need to undergo screening to detect explosives with a system approved by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA). To help facilitate this, TSA has listed approved systems on their Air Cargo Screening Technology List (ACSTL). Two of the most widely used technologies on the list, X-ray and trace, are incorporated into several of Morpho's solutions currently deployed to secure the global air cargo chain. "These two technologies are very different, but they turn out to be quite complementary," explains Matthew Gallagher, Director of Sales - North America, Infrastructure Protection & Field Operations at Morpho. "Trace detection is not as fast as X-ray technology, but it is more precise and less expensive. The availability of multiple technologies is good news for the industry." Experiments underway
Morpho is one of two players worldwide that has both ACSTL-listed trace and Computed Tomography solutions. Beyond the approaching mandate, Morpho is working with global partners to combine these, along with other advanced technologies, to meet the emerging needs of the industry and stay one-step ahead of potential threats. The air cargo industry is particularly keen on whether a system can screen palletized cargo holding a wide variety of products without removing each box and scanning it individually. "Morpho is one of a select few partnering with air-cargo firms and government officials to develop future large aperture, high definition screening solutions," said Gallagher. "As we look at the next year, Morpho sees tremendous opportunity in the market." Morpho's TSA-approved air cargo solutions include the Itemiser DX desktop explosives trace detector, CT-based CTX 5800 and CTX 9800 DSi explosives detection systems and a complete line of HRX X-ray scanners. Competitive advantages
Air cargo companies are constantly looking to drive system improvements. One area of interest is the ability to network their explosive detection systems to share information and bring new levels of accuracy and efficiency to the screening process. "The Itemiser DX is network-ready today," Gallagher explains. "Competitive systems are able to transmit collection information to a central hub or command center. Itemiser DX takes it another level and not only transmits information, but is also able to receive product updates and instruction."