Defence & security

Fast, accurate threat and contraband detection is essential to national security. Southern Innovation’s SITORO® digital pulse processing technology dramatically improves detector speed and accuracy, facilitating significant improvement to existing defence and security screening applications. 

Improving land, sea and air border protection technologies to rapidly identify contraband materials whilst minimising disruption to the flow of commerce, or movement of people, is a policy priority for many nations. The diverse range of threats, combined with a myriad of entry points, ensures that effective border protection requires a complex interaction of people, technology and regulation. Technologies that improve detector speed and accuracy can, and will, have a significant commercial and social impact. SITORO can improve detector efficiency by over 400%.

Containerised cargo screening

The seaborne and land-transported containerised cargo supply chain is as accessible as it is ubiquitous and therefore represents one of the most significant threats to border security.

Approximately 90% of all international non-bulk cargo is transported in standardised shipping containers. Over 30 million containers make more than 250 million point-to-point movements each year. However, most countries screen less than 5% of containers passing through their ports leaving their border exposed to the importation of explosives, drugs, nuclear material and other illicit trade.

Cargo containers are screened using a wide variety of technologies. High energy radiation screening technologies (X-rays, gamma-rays or neutrons) are able to penetrate the container and its cargo. Radiation detectors then stitch together multiple “slices” through the container to build up an image of its contents. In this manner it is possible to “see through” sealed shipping containers, detecting and identifying contraband material.

The current generation of cargo screening technology is limited to a container throughput of up to 20-30 containers per hour. Consequently the cost per container scanned is prohibitively high and only the very highest priority containers are scanned. In busy ports multiple installations are required frequently to ensure that even the most basic level of cargo screening can occur.

Benefits of SITORO to containerised cargo screening

Southern Innovation’s  SITORO technology dramatically improves detector efficiency. Consequently, the throughput of container screening installations can be significantly increased, driving down the screening cost per container and significantly increasing the percentage of containers that can be screened.

Airborne cargo screening

The USA’s Transport Security Administration (TSA) recognises airborne cargo as an attractive, high profile target for terrorism.

Airborne cargo accounts for 2% of worldwide trade by volume and approximately 40% by value. Aviation transport is a complex and multifaceted logistical process which, in the USA, processes over 17 million tons of cargo every year.

The most catastrophic bombing of a US airliner was the crash of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which was attributed to an explosive device placed in a cargo container in the airplane’s forward hold.

Despite the significant threat, only a tiny fraction of airborne cargo is screened. The challenge for screening technologies is to develop applications that offer accurate detection assurance without unduly affecting shipment schedules.

The current generation of X-ray based explosive detection systems require manually breaking down cargo pallets prior to screening. Newer techniques such as neutron beam scanning and gamma-ray radiography have the potential to screen fully packed containers, however, these system have limited container throughput making the process prohibitively slow and expensive.

Benefits of SITORO® to airborne cargo screening

Southern Innovation’s SITORO technology dramatically improves detector efficiency in air cargo screening applications, significantly increasing the container throughput of these systems thus addressing the need for accurate detection and rapid processing.