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Proceedings Paper

Detection of weapons of mass destruction
Author(s): Paul J. Bjorkholm
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Paper Abstract

High Energy X-ray cargo screening is a mature technology that has proven its value in the detection of contraband material hidden within cargo including fully loaded sea containers. To date high energy screening has been largely applied to manifest verification and to drug detection. However, the dramatic change in world terrorism has altered the application. Now it is essential that weapons of mass destruction (WMD’s) be interdicted with incredibly high accuracy. The implication of a missed detection has gone from loss of revenue or the lowering of the street price of drugs to potentially stopping, at least for some significant time, most world commerce. Screening containers with high energy x-rays (~250+ mm of steel penetration) is capable of detecting all nuclear threats at a fraction of the strategically important mass. The screening operation can be automated so that no human decisions are required with very low false alarms. Finally, the goal of 100% inspection of cargo inbound to the United States from the twenty largest international ports is an achievable goal with hardware costs in the area of that already spent on airport security.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 July 2003
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 5048, Nondestructive Detection and Measurement for Homeland Security, (16 July 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.484680
Show Author Affiliations
Paul J. Bjorkholm, Varian Medical Systems (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5048:
Nondestructive Detection and Measurement for Homeland Security
Steven R. Doctor; Yoseph Bar-Cohen; A. Emin Aktan, Editor(s)

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