October 17, 2008
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Initiates Use of AS&E’s Z Portal Vehicle Screening System at Southwest Border
Z Portal Provides Optimum Detection of Threats and Contraband at San Ysidro Checkpoint
BILLERICA, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--American Science and Engineering, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASEI) (AS&E®), a leader in X-ray detection technology, announced today that United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has begun using its Z Portal® vehicle screening system at the San Ysidro, California border checkpoint. AS&E’s Z Portal is the only multi-view, drive-through vehicle screening system available to scan cars, vans, and their cargo for concealed threats and contraband.
“The Z Portal system provides CBP with a high-throughput security solution to screen vehicles effectively and safely at the San Ysidro border crossing,” said Anthony Fabiano, AS&E’s President and CEO. “Utilizing AS&E’s proprietary technology, the Z Portal is extremely safe for drivers, passengers, and operators. With this system, CBP officials can quickly and easily detect explosives, stowaways, drugs, and other contraband hidden in cars and other vehicles. We are very proud to support CBP’s counter-drug and anti-terrorism programs with this comprehensive inspection solution to secure our borders.”
The San Ysidro Border Station, located between San Diego, California and Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, is known as the world’s busiest Land Port of Entry. This point of entry supports 24 northbound vehicle lanes in the United States and six southbound lanes into Mexico. Each day approximately 50,000 northbound vehicles and 25,000 northbound pedestrians travel through this border crossing.
About Z Portal®
Z Portal is the only multi-view, drive-through vehicle screening system capable of scanning cars, vans, and their cargo for concealed threats and contraband. The Z Portal system produces photo-like images, and highlights organic contraband, such as explosives, drugs, and stowaways. With Z Backscatter imaging technology, Z Portal is safe for drivers and passengers to remain in the vehicle during the screening process.
- Provides safe, comprehensive threat detection: Better detects threats and contraband hidden in a car or vehicle — providing optimum security with an easy-to-read display of where the threat or contraband is hidden.
- Reduces Traveler’s Inconvenience: Reduces intrusive and time consuming manual searches from potentially hours to minutes.
- Safety Assured: Z Portal’s low radiation dosage is safe for operators, drivers and the environment and falls well within standards set by The National Council on Radiation Protection, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the State of California. For a comparison, one scan of the Z Portal is equivalent to flying about 1 minute at altitude (approximately 30,000 ft.) on an airplane.
- Privacy Assured: The Z Portal system’s primary purpose is to image vehicles and their contents. For persons present in the vehicle, the system creates only a silhouette with no facial or body detail. The system cannot be used to identify an individual, or the race, sex or age of the person.
- CBP Evaluations of Z Portal: CBP is continually evaluating new technologies to improve security protocols and provide the most efficient, effective, and responsible ways to secure our borders from threats and contraband, while providing maximum privacy protection for its citizens and visitors.
About Z Portal Technology
The Z Portal employs AS&E’s patented Z Backscatter technology, which produces photo-like images of the contents of a container or vehicle, highlighting organic materials, such as drugs and plastic explosives, and stowaways. Based on the X-ray Compton Scattering effect, Z Backscatter technology works by detecting and highlighting “low Z” materials (items that contain low atomic number elements such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen). AS&E creates Z Backscatter images showing organic materials by directing a sweeping beam of X-rays at the object under examination, and then measuring and plotting the intensity of scattered X-rays as a function of the beam position.
American Science and Engineering, Inc. (AS&E) is the leading worldwide supplier of innovative X-ray inspection systems. With 50 years of experience in developing advanced X-ray security systems, the Company’s product line utilizes a combination of technologies, including patented Z Backscatter technology, Radioactive Threat Detection (RTD), high energy transmission and dual energy transmission X-ray. These technologies offer superior X-ray threat detection for plastic explosives, plastic weapons, liquid explosives, dirty bombs and nuclear devices. AS&E’s complete range of products include cargo inspection systems for port and border security, baggage screening systems for facility and aviation security, and personnel and passenger screening systems. AS&E systems protect high-threat facilities and help combat terrorism and trade fraud, drug smuggling, weapon smuggling, and illegal immigration and people smuggling. AS&E customers include leading government agencies, border authorities, military bases, airports and corporations worldwide, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), HM Revenue & Customs (U.K.) and Hong Kong Customs. For more information on AS&E products and technologies, please visit www.as-e.com.