NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 10, 2005--L-3 Communications (NYSE: LLL) announced today that its Security and Detection Systems subsidiary has received a $4.8 million contract to conduct a feasibility study to determine the effectiveness of neutron resonance radiography (NRR) for containerized air cargo explosives screening. The contract was competitively awarded to L-3 by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
L-3 is designing the electronics, mechanical systems and detection algorithms for the NRR project, and is working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to perform experiments at their facilities, as well as at the Bates Linear Accelerator Center, which is operated by MIT. The initial research in NRR was performed at MIT.
"Developing cutting-edge technologies that help secure the nation's air cargo industry is a top priority for L-3," said Thomas Ripp, president of Security and Detection Systems. "Our relationship with MIT allows us to research and test the next generation of explosives screening systems, enabling us to more quickly deliver real-world solutions to customers."
The NRR project uses an accelerator to generate neutrons, which are passed through objects at different energies, providing the ability to perform elemental differentiation to identify explosives. By analyzing how the neutrons behave as they pass through materials at multiple energies, L-3 and MIT are able to target specific elements to determine how much of each element is present in a particular space in the cargo. This data is used to determine whether explosives are present within the object or container that is being screened.
NRR can be used not only to identify explosives, but also to detect other contraband. Because NRR measures an object's elemental composition, the system will be able to automatically detect explosive materials instead of having to rely solely on an operator to interpret an image.
"Combining the basic research strengths of MIT with L-3's product and operational experience enables us to rapidly develop technologies that the nation's airports so urgently need," said Richard Lanza, senior research scientist of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT. "The partnership allows us to bring together the brightest minds - experts from L-3, MIT and elsewhere - to thoroughly test the NRR technology."
With a broad range of systems and technology, and an installed base of more than 18,000 systems worldwide, L-3 Security & Detection Systems offers screening technologies for numerous security applications that include: (1) aviation systems for hold baggage explosives detection, oversized baggage, and checkpoint screening; (2) cargo and air freight screening; (3) port and border inspection; and (4) facility protection. L-3 Security & Detection Systems' customer base includes major airlines, airports, numerous government agencies around the world (including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Federal Protective Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Department of Agriculture), and international authorities throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
To learn more about L-3 Communications Security & Detection Systems, please visit the company's website at www.L-3com.com/xray.