ProVision: EU Approved

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Tom Allett spoke to L-3 about its ProVision ATD image-free security scanner, which has now received approval from the European Union.

Security equipment manufacturers are gradually moving away from using an image of the passenger’s body and have replaced them with a generic human outline.  (L-3)

Security equipment manufacturers are gradually moving away from using an image of the passenger’s body and have replaced them with a generic human outline. (L-3)

 

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks upon the United States in 2001, a determined effort has been made to provide safe, functional, efficient, affordable and publicly acceptable passenger screening technology.  Across the aviation industry, many potential solutions have been put forward and some, which were originally thought to be the ‘silver bullet’ solution, failed to gain full acceptance. 

Although the majority of passengers surveyed have said they would prefer to pass through a screening booth designed to produce an image of potential weapons, contraband – and the body – concealed under clothing rather than endure a pat-down physical search, the level of criticism about ‘revealing’ images led to a change of technique.

Persistent and growing objections from travellers – and even some screening agents – who said they thought the images produced were too revealing, led to a rethink about how security scan results are displayed.

Now the security equipment manufacturers are moving away from an image of a passenger’s body in place of a generic human outline.  Any suspect items picked up by the screening camera are represented by a highlighted box superimposed over the generalised body image outline.  This avoids potential embarrassment for both passenger and screening agent while still allowing security personnel to do their job.

Having been cleared for use by America’s Transport Security Agency (TSA), L-3’s ProVision Automatic Target Detection security checkpoint scanner is already in service at approximately 750 US airports.  Following European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) and European Union Common Evaluation Process (EUCEP) Type A performance testing (that for automatic threat detection and an indication of the site of any objects detected on a generic human figure).  On January 23 it was announced that the product had received approval for operational use at EU airports.  However, having received clearance from their respective ‘local’ authorities the machines have been in use at Amsterdam, London and Rome for some considerable time.

As Airports International went to press, ProVision ATD is the only EU- and TSA-approved aviation passenger screening solution with automated target recognition software.

Any suspect items picked up by the screening camera are represented by a highlighted box superimposed over the generalised body outline.  (L-3)

Any suspect items picked up by the screening camera are represented by a highlighted box superimposed over the generalised body outline. (L-3)

It is the manufacturer’s first image-free advanced personnel scanner and uses safe millimetre-wave camera technology to detect potential metallic and non-metallic threats automatically by highlighting any anomalies on a mannequin, thereby protecting passengers’ privacy.

Commenting on the EU approval, Thomas M Ripp, President of L-3 Security & Detection Systems, said: “Our ProVision ATD system is the first advanced personnel screener to meet the EU standard, an important milestone that enables more travellers to be safely and effectively scanned.  This achievement is a direct outcome of L-3’s investment in continuously innovating our technologies to anticipate emerging threats and keep abreast of regulatory requirements.”

The company acknowledges that the ProVision is more expensive than earlier models.

 

Canadian Cargo Approval

News of ProVision’s EU approval followed a similar step for the company’s cargo screening equipment.  On January 6, L-3 Security announced that three of its air cargo systems had been added to Transport Canada’s Air Cargo Security Qualified Equipment & Services List.

The trio of products comprises L-3’s PX10.10-MV; PX15.17-MV 200 and ACX 6.4-MV dual-view systems.  They serve a range of break-bulk, oversized crate and pallet screening applications – from air cargo, postal and receiving dock to customs and quarantine screening.

L-3 Security says the PX 10.10-MV offers a low belt height for screening non-palletised freight while, “providing superior image performance and minimum manual handling issues.”  Its “unique” modular design allows it to be broken down into segments that can be wheeled individually through a standard doorway or perhaps a lift, before being quickly reconnected, allowing the system to be deployed in many areas that were previously only accessible to much smaller units.

The PX 15.17-MV is a high-powered platform, having a 200kV power configuration suitable for more dense goods and organic materials.  L-3 says it achieves best-in-class penetration while reducing the need to unpack contents for inspection, which speeds up the consolidated cargo screening process.

The ACX 6.4-MV has powerful multi-view screening technology that will capture data from one or two views of an object to provide operators with two high-quality images.  Its automated alert system is designed to enable airports and other air cargo facilities to accurately detect threats, reduce false alarms and achieve rapid throughput.

This entry was posted in Features, Legislation, Security.

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