Premium Screening vs. Fear of Radiation – the Whole Body Scanners Technology Dilemma

A performance knockout goes back to the jury because of public misconception of radiation
Security decision makers are faced with an almost unfair dilemma in choosing Whole Body Scanners enabling technology. On the one hand, MMWave technology has limited resolution and above all cannot detect intra-cavity smuggling (e.g., passengers hiding plastic bags containing drugs or explosives in their body cavities, terrorists’ plans to use surgeries to implant explosives inside the body of would-be suicide aviation terrorists). On the other hand, Backscatter X-Ray technology provides dramatically-superior screening performance:

  1. It detects explosives and arms within and outside the human body
  2. It provides (some) material identification capabilities (e.g., TNT vs. a bar of chocolate)
  3. It can, due to its high spatial resolution, identify a bomb’s wires

In short, it would be very difficult for terrorists to beat this technology at a radiation dose of a two minutes’ flight at 30.000 feet.

The dilemma arises from the public’s fear of radiation – a term that is automatically connected with the word Cancer. Following 40 years of medical research, no study has indicated any elevation of cancer prevalence in commercial air crews who fly hundreds of hours per year for over 20 years over a non-flying population.
MMWave AIT
Advantages
  • Does not require bulky portals
  • Can provide the dielectric constraint of the screened concealed object being screened (if it is dielectric)
  • No privacy issues
  • No ionizing radiation
Disadvantages
  • Limited spatial resolution of ~1cm, but enough to detect an object (>2 cm) mounted outside the body
  • Can’t detect intra-body concealed explosives and arms
  • Limited throughput
Safety

Millimeter wave technology emits ‎thousands of times less energy than a cell ‎phone transmission.
Source: TSA

Backscatter X-Ray
Advantages
  • High spatial and material ID resolution
  • Maximum detection of potential threats
  • Detects metallic and non-metallic weapons
  • IEDS detection
  • Detects explosives and drugs
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in a prison environment
  • Can be used as primary or secondary screening
  • Hard to defeat
  • Some material ID reduces secondary screening
  • 2nd generation systems have no privacy issues
  • Detects intra-body concealed explosives and arms
Disadvantages
  • Requires ionizing radiation
  • Public fear of radiation
  • Limited throughput
Safety

One backscatter technology scan produces the same exposure as two minutes of flying on an airplane.
Source: TSA

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Purchasing Price of Whole Body Scanners Represents <5% of Their Total Lifetime Cost

With the expected acquisition completion of Whole Body Scanners with Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT), the TSA would have installed 878 units across 140 U.S. airports. According to the U.S. Congress GAO, the total lifetime cost for these machines will be $3.5B. This means that the actual purchasing ex-factory unit price of approximately $170K represents less than 5% of the costs with the bulk 95% comprising of systems installation costs, TSA 24/7 screeners labor costs, training, upgrades and maintenance costs.
The recent planned procurement announcement of 878 machines actually goes back to the original pre-2009 installation plan. In response to the Dec. 29th, 2009 bombing attempt, the TSA proposed the procurement of 1,800 additional AIT systems, then reduced to 1250, and finally went back to the originally planned 878.

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China, UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are Fastest Growing Homeland Security Markets

Middle Eastern countries are responding to the ongoing turmoil with rapid spending on Homeland Security & Internal Security technologies. According to HSRC’s latest report Global Homeland Security & Public Safety Market – 2015-2022, while in absolute terms spending of countries such as U.A.E., Kuwait and Saudi Arabia doesn’t come close to the market leaders China and the U.S. (which are forecasted to maintain a 36% share of the 2013-2022 market), in relative terms of GDP share, the Middle Eastern countries spend two to four times as much as the international superpowers. In addition, the urgency resulting from this turmoil makes these regions some of the fastest-growing Homeland Security & Public Safety markets in the World.

Homeland Security & Public Safety Market Size Considering 10 Year CAGR and % of GDP

In the chart above we take a closer look at the Homeland Security & Public Safety market for 10 selected countries. For each of the countries, the chart illustrates the relationship of the forecasted 2013-2022 HLS & Public Safety market CAGR with the market size as percent of GDP. The size of the bubble indicates the overall market size.

Read more on Global Homeland Security & Public Safety business opportunities, market figures and forecasts

Global Video Analytics Market – This Region’s Market Share Will Nearly Triple

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Global Defense Video Analytics Market Share by Region [%] – 2011, 2020

Although the Defense, ISR & other security related video analytics market is currently dominated by the U.S., in the coming years the Asia-Pacific region is expected to sustain the fastest regional growth, biting into the U.S. market share. This growth is driven by India’s counter-terror investment and China’s internal security concerns. Within this region, some of the most lucrative business opportunities can be found in the critical infrastructure security intelligent video surveillance market sustaining double digit growth during the forecast period

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Military & Intelligence Community Video Analytics Capture 53% Market Share of the Security Related Video Analytics Market

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Millitary Intelligence Video Analytics

Military users across the globe are demanding more and better means to collect, analyze and share security related video footage. While the deployment of a fleet of unmanned systems, ground mobile platforms and fixed persistent surveillance systems led to a significant increase in the amount of video footage that is captured, the means to exploit that video for near-real time analysis and distribution lags behind. Multiple, competing video formats, interoperability challenges with legacy ISR stovepipes, with somewhat limited capabilities of current data tagging and metadata tools, and problems associated with already-strained, bandwidth-constricted ISR networks will all drive demand for state-of-the-art video analytics solutions.

In addition, military officials see much potential in using the archives of video footage collected by video surveillance systems for later analysis like searching for patterns of insurgent activity over time. To date, only a small fraction of the stored video footage has been retrieved for such intelligence purposes.

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