TSA funds upgrade to passenger screening system

BILLERICA, Mass. 10 August 2005. American Science and Engineering, Inc. (AS&E) announced today the receipt of a $722,000 contract award from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to upgrade its Z Backscatter personnel screening system.

Aug 10th, 2005

BILLERICA, Mass. 10 August 2005. American Science and Engineering, Inc. (AS&E) announced today the receipt of a $722,000 contract award from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to upgrade its Z Backscatter personnel screening system.

Under the terms of the contract, AS&E will deliver an advanced Z Backscatter personnel screening system to the TSA for extensive testing and evaluation.

The Z Backscatter personnel screening system is an effective way to screen for contraband and threats hidden under a person's clothing as it simultaneously detects both metallic and non-metallic objects, such as guns and knives, plastic explosives, composite weapons, drugs and other hidden threats and contraband.

The system is a patented technology based on the X-ray Compton Scattering effect. Z Backscatter works by detecting and highlighting "low Z" materials (items that contain low atomic number elements such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen) ¿ which includes explosives, plastic weapons, drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.

The Z Backscatter personnel screening system displays these items as bright and well-defined, making it easy to identify hidden materials, and to clearly determine which might be security threats. The system is unique as it is also able to reveal threats such as metal weapons and bomb-detonating wires (items that contain "high Z" elements, with a high atomic number). The system operates by detecting scattered X-rays but it also recognizes the lack of scattering that comes when X-rays are absorbed. These high Z or metal objects are displayed as dark objects on the person scanned. Thus the system is able to display all metallic and non-metallic threats and contraband anywhere on a person's body.

"We are pleased that TSA is moving forward in evaluating the use of Z Backscatter personnel screening systems by funding enhancements to our current system," said Anthony Fabiano, president and CEO. "The Z Backscatter personnel screening system can detect a broad range of threats including both metallic and non-metallic weapons, as well as explosives. The system is a safe and effective method to find most classes of threats by displaying a clear and accurate image."

Fabiano continued, "In addition, AS&E is working diligently with the TSA to develop solutions to address privacy concerns. AS&E has developed software algorithms for modifying the images that present only an outline of the scanned individual to distinguish potential threats on the body, while securing individual privacy. We are ready to deploy our systems with privacy algorithms that address any privacy concerns, and we are excited to work with the TSA."

American Science and Engineering, Inc. develops and manufactures state-of-the-art X-ray inspection systems for homeland security and other critical defense applications. AS&E continues to innovate, create and develop new products by investing in new ideas through research and development, and evolving its technology to meet the needs of an ever-changing world. AS&E's patented Z Backscatter technology detects plastic explosives, illegal drugs, and other contraband, even when artfully concealed in complex backgrounds by terrorists and smugglers. AS&E's Shaped Energy X-ray inspection systems combine the material discrimination features of Z Backscatter imaging with the penetration capability of high-energy X-rays for dense cargoes, without the problems caused by excessive radiation. For more information, see www.as-e.com.

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