CT or not CT – A Brief Comparison

Simfox Smiths CTiX Simulator

In an era where security concerns are paramount, the role of technology in safeguarding public spaces and transportation systems cannot be overstated. Security scanners stand at the forefront of the array of threat-detection tools. Security scanners using CT scans and traditional X-ray machines are different technologies with distinct advantages and disadvantages for checkpoint security screening. CT scans, or computed tomography scans, use multiple detectors and a rotating system to create 3D images of the scanned objects. This can provide a higher level of automatic detection of explosives and other threats and allow operators to zoom in and rotate the images for better inspection. CT scans detect explosives by applying sophisticated algorithms that analyse the 3D images and identify the characteristics of explosive materials, such as density, shape, and composition. 

On the other hand, traditional X-ray machines use a single detector and produce 2D images that may not show the entire contents of a bag or reveal sophisticated threats that are hidden or disguised. CT scans are more expensive and slower than traditional X-ray machines, but they also offer a better passenger experience by allowing liquids and electronics to remain in the bag. 

CT scans are becoming more widely adopted in airports worldwide as they meet stringent global standards for security screening. These standards include American National Standards for evaluating CT security-screening systems’ image quality and radiation safety and European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) standards for explosive detection systems.

The differences between CT scan security scanners and traditional X-ray machines are profound in security scanning. While conventional X-ray machines offer expedient scans, CT scan security scanners excel in imaging quality, threat detection accuracy, and identifying a broader range of materials. These advancements come at the cost of slightly longer scan times and marginally higher radiation exposure, albeit well within safe limits. The choice between these technologies depends on the specific security needs of a given environment. As technology evolves, refining security scanners remains critical to ensuring public safety in an ever-changing threat landscape.

Renful Premier Technologies has created a range of security screening simulators. Security operations depend significantly on human operators’ ability to interpret images, making image analysis training indispensable. Through the Simfox security training simulator, screeners at all levels can upgrade their threat detection skills using its extensive training database of real-life images and highly customisable modules. Versions include a CT simulator, a conventional X-ray simulator and one specifically for cargo and container screening.

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