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Proceedings Paper

Mobile x-ray backscatter imaging system for inspection of vehicles
Author(s): Roderick D. Swift
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Paper Abstract

A mobile, rapid-deployment, x-ray system for the inspection of vehicles and freight containers has been developed and delivered in a prototype configuration. The system is based on 450 kV flying-spot x-ray beam technology originally developed for inspection of commercial vehicles at fixed- site border crossings and ports. The fixed-site system includes both transmission and Compton backscatter imaging capabilities. The prototype mobile system employs backscatter imaging only, which allowed it to be brought into service sooner and at lower cost, while still achieving most of the functionality and detection capabilities of a full system. Work is in progress to incorporate transmission imaging. Both the primary radiation dose and the environmental dose due to leakage and scatter are low. Measured primary and secondary radiation exposure rates are presented. The prototype system was configured and certified as a 'cabinet' x-ray system. The pros and cons of this certification compared to alternative 'industrial' certification is discussed. The mobile vehicle/ cargo inspection system is typically deployed and operated by a crew of three. Deployment requires about 10 minutes after its arrival on-site. During acquisition of scan data, a slow-speed hydraulic drive system moves the inspection system past the inspected object at a speed of 6 inches per second. Smaller vehicles (less than about 6 feet in height) can be scanned in a single pass for each side; taller vehicles require multiple scans for full coverage. Sample backscatter images obtained during system tests are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 February 1997
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2936, Physics-Based Technologies for the Detection of Contraband, (6 February 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.266262
Show Author Affiliations
Roderick D. Swift, American Science and Engineering, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2936:
Physics-Based Technologies for the Detection of Contraband
Lyle O. Malotky; John J. Pennella, Editor(s)

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