Cargo Screening: Another View

The PX10.10-MV has a modular design, giving it segments that can be wheeled individually through a standard doorway or lift/elevator before being reconnected to enable it to be deployed in many areas previously only accessible to much smaller units. (All images – L-3)

US security screening specialist L-3 has unveiled three new multi-view air cargo screening solutions. Tom Allett reports.

The PX10.10-MV has a modular design, giving it segments that can be wheeled individually through a standard doorway or lift/elevator before being reconnected to enable it to be deployed in many areas previously only accessible to much smaller units. (All images – L-3)

During the last few years there has been a growing and significant debate about the quality of air cargo screening checks.  While the intensity of passenger screening checks has risen continually since the September 2001 attacks on the US, air cargo simply hasn’t received the same level of attention.  The reason behind this is simple: a purely cargo-carrying aircraft is thought to be a less tempting target for terrorists because, unless it happened to fall on a city, governments have deemed that the resulting ‘damage’ to public concerns and business confidence would be small in comparison to that of a passenger-carrying airliner (though its destruction would be an obvious tragedy for the aircrew lost and their families).  Therefore, governments believe that the cost of introducing passenger flight security screening levels to pure-cargo operations simply outweighs the risk.
Harsh as that sounds, the bottom line is that the level of screening required is determined by governments.  Therefore, the industry’s regulations are usually reactive rather than proactive, leaving the latest threat event – rather than the sometimes obvious ‘loopholes’ – to be the deciding factor as to what the legal requirements are.  Nevertheless, investment in screening technology research continues and many of the world’s cargo regulators are looking to dual-view systems as their preferred screening solution.  L-3 has just introduced three such multi-view air cargo and freight screening systems: its PX10.10-MV, PX15.17-MV and PX18.18-MV.
L-3 describes the PX10.10-MV as “ideal for inspecting break-bulk freight and packages” and says that it offers customers “superior imaging performance” with the “optimal combination of X-ray geometry and belt height.”  The product sends screening beams upwards from underneath for the “best penetration and image” and the manufacturer says that it offers the “lowest belt height available with this geometry.”
Its design is modular, with segments that can be wheeled individually through a standard doorway or lift/elevator and quickly reconnected, in order to enable the system to be deployed in many areas previously only accessible to much smaller units.
It has a 3ft 3in sq (1m2) tunnel to screen a wide variety of packages and freight,
The larger PX15.17-MV and PX18.18-MVs have 4ft 11.5in (1.5m) and 5ft 10.8in (1.8m)-square entrance tunnels respectively, reducing the need to unpack items for inspection. Both are available in 200kV and 320kV configurations.

including oversized/out-of-gauge cartons and irregularly-shaped baggage items.  The first example has already been deployed operationally in Europe.
Two larger products; the PX15.17-MV and PX18.18-MV systems, can screen break-bulk freight, skids and – subject to regulatory requirements – larger pallet and ULD containers.  L-3 states that these systems are “highly configurable”, allowing customers to choose either a dual-view or single-view system that can be later upgraded while in operation.
The larger PX15.17-MV and PX18.18-MVs have 4ft 11.5in (1.5m) and 5ft 10.8in (1.8m)-square entrance tunnels respectively, thereby reducing the need to unpack items for inspection and speeding-up the screening of consolidated cargo in skids, pallets and ULDs.  The latter two products are available in 200kV and 320kV configurations to achieve “best-in-class penetration”, even in densely-packed goods.
The systems also include a heavy-duty conveyor with narrow pitch rollers specifically designed to enable the easy loading and unloading of pallets via a forklift truck.