Smiths Detection to Provide CT, Other Checkpoint Screening Systems to Incheon Airport

Smiths Detection says it has received a contract through its local partner

Donggok Precision Co. to supply checkpoint screening systems at South Korea’s Incheon International Airport’s Terminal 1. The award includes 10 HI-SCAN 6040 CTiX checkpoint computed tomography (CT) scanners, nine iLane automatic tray return system units, and Checkpont Evo, a checkpoint screening and management solution to connect X-Ray units and operator workstations. Checkpoint Evo will also allow the airport to conduct remote screening. The value of the contract, which also includes a training program, was not disclosed. Incheon already uses Smiths’ HI-SCAN 10080 XCT explosive detection systems for checked baggage screening. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration previously acquired and deployed 300 6040 CTiX systems for screening carry-on bags at airport checkpoints.

Heathrow Selects Rohde & Schwarz to Provide Body Scanners

Rohde & Schwarz says that its QPS201 passenger security scanners have been selected for use across London’s Heathrow Airport. To use the system, a passenger stands between two panels, facing one side with his or her hands down and slightly out to the side, allowing an operator to obtain an image quickly to see if any threats are hidden beneath clothing. “This scanner addresses the three key airport requirements,” says Frank Mackel, vice president sales for Europe at R&S. “High accuracy of threat detection, low frequency of false alarms to minimize time consuming manual pad-downs, and fast throughput to reduce passenger wait times even at busy periods.” R&S says the QPS201 “restores parity to baggage and personnel-scanning times, helping security staff manage throughput at checkpoints and avoid excessive queuing.” A body scan takes several seconds and any anomalies are shown on an image to preserve privacy.

General Atomics Nabs $528M CBP Award for Predator Drone and Support

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in late March awarded General Atomics a potential $527.6 million contract to provide operations and maintenance services and work for the agency’s fleet of MQ-9 Predator and Guardian drones as well as funding for a new aircraft. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems is the prime contractor for the MQ-9, which it has supplied to CBP beginning in 2005. The award is for up to five years. CBP operates a fleet of nine MQ-9s, seven that are Predator variants used for border security and two Guardian variants for maritime missions in partnership with the Coast Guard. General Atomics is the incumbent for the support services, which include air vehicle pilots and mission payload operators, systems, airframe and equipment repairs, modifications and systems integration, system upgrades and engineering changes, support of ground statin facilities, and support for the vehicle and dismount exploitation radar. CBP said the contract includes one aircraft to replace a lost aircraft. The agency has suffered three crashes of Predator unmanned aircraft systems, most recently in 2020 due to a hard landing.

IARPA Awards Kitware $5M to Develop Biometric Identification Algorithms

The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded Kitware Inc. $4.9 million to lead a team developing algorithms to perform face and whole-body biometric recognition at long-range and from elevated platforms. The multi-year work will be done under the Biometric Recognition and Identification at Altitude and Range (BRIAR) program. Kitware has expertise in object detection, tracking, person re-identification and data collections. The company’s teammates include experts from the Univ. of Notre Dame, Univ. of Colorado at Colorado Springs, the Univ. of South Florida, and the Univ. of Zurich. “We’re excited for the opportunity to partner with outstanding collaborators and address the very challenging problem of recognizing people over long distances, from imagery where atmospheric turbulence significantly hinders existing approaches,” says Scott McCloskey, Kitware’s assistant director of computer vision. “This contract expands our growing portfolio of computational imaging work, builds on core strengths such as tracking and data collection for machine learning, and will significantly push the state-of-the art in biometrics.” The company says U.S. defense and intelligence agencies want the ability to identify or recognize individuals under challenging conditions such as from distances over 300 meters, atmospheric turbulence, and from elevated platforms.