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2D X-Ray Compared to 3D CT: Lessons Learned from Medicine

Posted by Analogic Security on 12/14/17 9:41 AM
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Analogic has been leading the medical and aviation security industry in developing advanced Computed Tomography (CT) imaging and automated threat detection algorithms for decades.

In fact, did you know that Analogic invented the first high-speed analog-to-digital converter that enabled modern day computed tomography, the first CT data acquisition system (DAS), and then later the first 300+ slice DAS for advanced cardiac imaging?

Analogic developed the first CT based explosive detection systems (EDS) for the US FAA over 20 years ago, and today Analogic CT technology has been deployed at over 1200 airports worldwide for checked baggage screening. Analogic deployed its first aviation checkpoint security system, the COBRA, 10 years ago.

We sometimes take it for granted that everyone understands why CT is such an important technology, both in medicine for disease detection and in aviation security for identifying advanced threats potentially carried in luggage. But then we realized many people in the aviation security industry may never have seen what 3D CT images look like compared to 2D X-ray. 

Once you compare these images, we think you will understand why members of the US Congress, the head of US TSA and the former head of the US Department of Homeland Security (now White House Chief of Staff) all support CT at the airport checkpoint. Just as medical CT makes it easier for medical professionals to spot potential medical threats, CT will make it easier for airport checkpoint operators to quickly find potential security threats.

Below, on the left - a traditional 2D X-Ray. On the right, a similar 3D medical CT image. Notice that 3D CT allows the viewer to see more detail than traditional 2D X-ray. Not only are the bones visible, but organs as well. In other words, whether it is a person in a doctor’s office, or a carry-on bag at an airport security checkpoint, CT provides much more detail and information about what is inside!

2D X-ray.jpg 3D CT.jpg

With the all-new ConneCT, Analogic is now applying this medical technology to aviation security checkpoints. The screenshot below provides a full 360-degree, 3D view of a carry-on bags contents. It is higher resolution than the traditional 2D X-ray and it can allow the operator to digitally “unpack” a carry-on bag – without physically opening it. Combined with ConneCT’s automated threat detection algorithms, which highlight potential threats such as the simulated explosive in red below, this results in better threat detection and faster passenger throughput.

The lesson is clear: just as medical CT has improved detection of cancers and other disease states, implementing CT at the aviation checkpoints can help improve threat detection and make air travel safer for passengers, flight crew, and airport staff.

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