In the last year, the aviation industry, government agencies, lawmakers, the media and even the general public have realized the benefits of checkpoint CT (computed tomography) technology over the currently used 2D X-ray systems. In what seems like a nanosecond, key stakeholders have gone from asking “What is checkpoint CT?” to “How fast can checkpoint CT be deployed at airports?”
The US TSA, currently using CT technology for airport check-baggage screening, just last year began to evaluate checkpoint CT technology, and now acknowledges that CT systems such as the Analogic ConneCT are the future of aviation security. The US Congress is urging TSA to replace traditional 2D checkpoint X-Ray as quickly as possible.
What many people do not know is that while Analogic has been developing CT for aviation security checked baggage for more than 20 years, we were also the first to deploy a checkpoint CT system over 10 years ago. This is far longer than any of our competitors now entering the space.
In 2007, with R&D support from the US government, Analogic launched its first-generation COBRA checkpoint CT system.
In operational tests with two large European airports, COBRA demonstrated the potential of 3D checkpoint CT, offering better threat detection and much faster passenger throughput. But despite these advantages, COBRA was ahead of its time. TSA acknowledged CT’s superior threat detection capabilities but due to budget and other constraints, decided to try to extend the capabilities of 2D X-Ray systems rather than introduce checkpoint CT technology.
ConneCT: The Only True, Next-Generation Checkpoint CT
Our engineers here at Analogic took the lessons learned from COBRA and added technical innovations, and a streamlined, modern design that is faster, lighter, and less expensive to create the next-generation ConneCT,the most advanced checkpoint CT system available. Here are just a few of the innovations that put ConneCT in a class ofits own:
- “Dust free” Mechanical Design: Only ConneCT has a brushless, contactless, dust free internal power transfer feature. Why is that important? Because no one wants dust in an airport checkpoint and dust increases service and maintenance costs.
- Easy to service, “Bearingless” CT Gantry: Our competition uses an older gantry design with bearings, which decreases reliability and makes servicing the gantry far more time consuming. The ConneCT features a modular, no-bearing design for greater system availability and serviceability.
- Interoperable Network Architecture: Only Analogic’s software was designed from day one to support a non-proprietary security data standard called DICOS. Only ConneCT is developing the capability in cooperation with government labs and commercial software vendors for customers to archive, search, and analyze images using secure, third-party software. This brings the “smartphone plus mobile app” paradigm to aviation security. It will speed Analogic’s ability to update software, encourages software companies to develop capabilities to address new and emerging threats, and allows customers to add functionality themselves, rather than being trapped in a proprietary system.
In short, while other checkpoint CT systems currently on the market are closer in design to our first-generation 10-year-old COBRA platform, we have developed a truly next-generation product in ConneCT.