Thales and Micro-X have announced a collaboration to develop Carbon NanoTubes (CNT) X-ray machines for airports that will eliminate the need for passengers to queue up, open bags and remove electronics devices and liquids.
Instead, passengers will simply set their closed bag on the scanner and walk through another scanner. By coupling carbon nanotubes cathodes with backscattering image processing algorithm and Artificial Intelligence to more efficiently identify suspicious items, the new equipment will achieve a level of miniaturization that will lead to significant space reduction.
This can in turn free valuable terminal real estate currently allocated to security checks, for commercial use and improved passenger flow, a Thales release said today.
Airport checkpoint technology is facing an immediate challenge, with global passenger numbers on track to double by 2030 (source: IATA). The evolving requirement for checkpoints is to process far more passengers per hour than the current industry average of 200 combined with improved threat detection, the release said.
To anticipate these needs, Micro-X, the global leader in cold-cathode x-ray technology, and Thales, leader in security and medical imaging, have combined forces in a multi-faceted collaboration to develop X-ray imaging systems based on X-ray sources that use Carbon NanoTubes (CNT) cathodes at their heart.
The two organisations will initially collaborate on the design of novel, miniaturized X-ray sources. These sources will be produced by Thales and manufactured in Moirans, France, and will power both Thales and Micro-X’s future roadmap of innovative x-ray products for medical and security markets.
In the second part of the alliance both companies will address global sales and support of Micro-X’s Mobile Backscatter Imager (MBI) for assessment of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Design and development is already underway in Adelaide following very positive end-user feedback of the operational concept and the imaging performance demonstration conducted for the Australian Defence Force’s Counter-IED Task Force.