Exclusive: Finding solutions for critical infrastructure


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Critical infrastructure facilities must choose screening solutions that offer both accuracy and efficiency, reports Astrophysics Inc.

There are no one-size-fits-all solutions in security screening. Security missions for different critical infrastructure sites can vary drastically. Solutions that effectively protect courthouses, for example, might leverage different screening technology than those designed to protect prisons or military bases.

The challenge for security x-ray companies is designing solutions tailored to each customer’s security requirements. X-ray security companies often design generic solutions that fit a broad range of customers but fail to effectively address every security mission. Scanners providing rapid throughput but inaccurate screening can leave facilities vulnerable to hidden threats, while thorough screening dramatically slows throughput to a non-viable degree. This industry norm often gives customers the misconception that they must choose accuracy or efficiency.

Astrophysics stands out among x-ray screening companies because they affirm users can have both accuracy and efficiency. Offering unparalleled world-class customisations on all of their x-ray systems, Astrophysics designs and manufactures systems that provide comprehensive solutions tailored to every customer’s unique security mission.

These customisations are important because critical infrastructure sites are often fast-paced with high stakes. Customers need screening solutions leveraging the latest technology to counter rapidly evolving threats without inhibiting operations. The Astrophysics focus on innovation guided the development of the VI3D, a revolutionary x-ray scanner that delivers both rapid multi-view screening technology, making it the ultimate solution for critical infrastructure security.

Multiple views using a single generator

The Astrophysics VI3D x-ray security scanner brings innovative 3D MotionView next-generation technology to checkpoint security. The VI3D is the first of its kind, generating three distinct views in a combined “rocking” image for incredible depth perception.

Other brands claim to generate 3D-like images but have yet to achieve true three-view technology. Their images appear flat, with low-quality image resolution and limited depth and visibility. The VI3D, however, enables operators to evaluate scanned objects from three distinct viewing angles, significantly reducing blind spots and improving threat recognition. VI3D technology speeds up inspections, reduces false alarms and improves security at critical checkpoints.

The multi-view alternative to dual view technology

The VI3D signifies an evolution of the traditional single view x-ray security scanner. X-ray scanners have traditionally required multiple generators to achieve multiple views. For example, dual view technology operates with two x-ray generators, adding in cost and forcing operators to analyse two separate images. The VI3D achieves three geometrically distinct views from a single x-ray generator, providing the enhanced perspectives previously exclusive to dual-view x-ray scanners in an easier, faster and more cost-effective solution. The VI3D combines the three views into a single “rocking” image via the 3D MotionView software. Its modern approach puts these powerful capabilities in the hands of screening personnel at an incredible value compared to traditional dual view scanners.

The VI3D in real-world security scenarios

As the world is beginning to reopen, travel and businesses are seeing an influx of demand for security screening. This increasing demand stresses the need for effective security screening solutions with the latest technology and efficient throughput more than ever before.

Operators and security checkpoint personnel have the difficult task of inspecting complex bags passing through critical access points while under simultaneous pressure to maintain throughput without sacrificing inspection for hidden threats. Most bags are packed with multiple objects – e.g., laptops, phones, food, water, personal objects, etc. – and operators have just seconds to evaluate them without slowing foot traffic. Bags that are too dense or complicated to clear using traditional x-ray scanners may need to be inspected by hand, causing delays.

The VI3D offers the perfect solution. Instead of spending crucial time manipulating screened images with different imaging functions in order to identify threats, operators can leverage the VI3D real-time 3D MotionView technology. The VI3D software gives operators the option to cycle through each of the three views individually or view a combined “rocking” image, as desired.

A host of innovative features

The VI3D features Enhanced Imaging (EI) software that provides a powerful new approach to x-ray screening. Traditional x-ray screening requires the operator to stop the scanned image and manipulate the image with a series of software tools to generate the best possible image for analysis. Astrophysics’ exclusive Enhanced Imaging (EI) software automatically “enhances” VI3D scanned images as it scrolls across the screen in real-time, giving operators the ability to visually inspect bags with precision. Further, Enhanced Imaging has a unique software configuration so the largest possible image fills the screen, maximising screen size and operator visibility.

Astrophysics’ exclusive EI software employs an adaptive filter that increases image contrast and detail to help discriminate between items for more effective screening. For continued analysis, EI mode is compatible with the full suite of Astrophysics functions: 3-Colour, 6-Colour, Organic, Inorganic, Black/White and Black/White Reverse. With these capabilities, the revolutionary VI3D exemplifies Astrophysics’ renowned R&D reputation for innovation and provides the ideal solution for critical infrastructure security‒helping keep communities safe today, tomorrow, always.

Leading the way

Since 2002, Astrophysics has led the industry in research and development, creating integrated solutions to advance the critical security missions of our customers and partners. Headquartered outside of Los Angeles, CA in the USA, Astrophysics has over 35,000 systems deployed in more than 150 countries, safeguarding critical infrastructure, aviation and ports and border sites worldwide – Astrophysics has a wide range of security solutions designed for any mission.

For critical infrastructure Astrophysics delivers comprehensive solutions that uncover threats in vital parts of the community, ensuring the safety and security of these sites around the world. With newly enhanced AI technology that identifies threats categorically, our systems take into account not only throughput and accuracy, but operator capabilities, providing a second pair of eyes for threat detection at critical infrastructure sites.

Astrophysics is an industry leader in the aviation sector, prioritising innovation and technology that keeps pace with rising threats. We continue to promote updated regulation and have developed the first 3D CT cargo system for aviation (MVCT). Our scanners exceed the standards developed by the world’s strictest aviation authorities and our TSA-qualified products help screen air cargo, carry-on bags and checked luggage for both airlines and freight forwarders. In doing so, we ensure the safe flow of passengers and trade worldwide.

For ports and borders, we have vehicle and cargo screening systems that feature best-in-class imaging that quickly and accurately analyses shipments, allowing customs officials to process cargo without impacting throughput. Our systems assist ports of entry by detecting contraband and illegal trafficking. The Astrophysics HXC-Lanescan was recently awarded an US$82 million contract from the United States Customs and Border Patrol to secure US border crossings.

We partner with customers to build integrated solutions tailored to their security needs, designing powerful networks that allow coordinated inspections, the exchange of key decision data and rapid throughput. Guided by our core values of integrity, loyalty, respect and teamwork, we deliver solutions for today’s threats with advanced technology that anticipates tomorrow’s needs.

For more information, visit: www.astrophysicsinc.com

This article was originally published in the January 2022 edition of International Security Journal. Pick up your FREE digital edition here.

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