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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

The Physics Package Advantage in Securing Ports of Entry

The Image Viewer with Trust-RatedTM Material Discrimination provides the standard color assignments for security imaging.


How do we make our border crossings and ports of entry more secure in this ever-changing world? These important elements of our global presence and supply chain service millions of people and products daily. Yet those who wish to move things across borders without detection are adept in their approach to hide and disguise. This creates a critical challenge to our infrastructure and security community – how do we ensure high levels of security and safety without compromising standards, speed of commerce, or freedom of movement?

Part of the solution to this challenge comes from implementing layered products and services, optimized for use in the cargo security arena. The physics packages, developed by Varex Industrial Imaging, combine key security imaging components into a flexible solution. Putting the Linatron® and detector arrays together with a powerful software package to add user interface, data archiving, and operator assistance capabilities are the foundation of our physics packages.

Physics packages from Varex Imaging have been implemented by regional integrators for more than 20 years, with over 100 installations in Japan, South Korea, India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Brazil, Turkey, and Great Britain. Flexibility has been key to our success, with physics packages deployed on fixed sites that include dual view systems, gantries, portals, and mobile trucks.

To make the installation run smoothly, we also provide design engineering support with respect to all major aspects of the imaging system, including:

  • Imaging optics including alignment requirements
  • Radiation shielding considerations for image quality
  • Personnel safety and regulatory compliance
  • Safety system design
  • Motion systems
  • Detector mounting pattern
  • Installation support with imaging plane alignment and acquisition of first image

To back it all up, if a challenge does arise, our worldwide service team is ready to support the installation. Our products are designed for quality cargo security, with full wraparound service support and the backing of Varex design and manufacturing capabilities.

Key Components Overview

Hardware and Integrated Solution

At the heart of the physics package is the linear accelerator. Our lineup of linear accelerators are core cargo and security components, deployed in more than 1,000 installations around the world. The physics package adds a linear detector array, data acquisition electronics, and the ACTIS software suite, which also includes data acquisition, plus image analysis and case database storage.

Some of our more popular hardware and software physics packages integrate the Varex M3, M6, and M9 Linatrons. A number of the newer packages use the Mi6, Mi9, and most recently, the Mi6 SSM (Solid State Modulator) Linatron. The Mi6 SSM is our latest accelerator, developed for cargo scanning with the SSM integrated into the same unit as the X-ray head and radio frequency components. This combination frees up premium real estate in tight spaces, like when the package is deployed on a mobile truck. The SSM offers more operational advantages, such as easier control of pulse-to-pulse dose and energy, including supporting occupied vehicle mode.

Software and Interface

The Varex ACTIS Software suite provides system control capabilities to meet operator screening needs.  ACTIS integrates with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Systems, customer-provided data that may include manifests, and outputs from Radiation Portal Monitors. ACTIS also provides health and usage data to a central location for monitoring. In addition, the ACTIS software combines material discrimination and image scan data into an optimized presentation provided to the user.

The Image Viewer with Trust-RatedTM Material Discrimination provides the standard color assignments for security imaging (orange for organic, green for inorganic and light metals, blue for heavier metals, and purple for high-Z material such as lead or uranium). This also includes a continuous color pallet to better differentiate mixed materials along the X-ray path. The standard output is integrated with the material discrimination data to provide optimal image presentation when materials overlap or full material discrimination is not available.

Finally, Operator Assist is an additional feature that uses image features, such as grayscale, material discrimination, and size and shape of objects, to alert operators to areas in an image that require extra scrutiny based on a pre-defined set of rules.

Whether we provide our world-class accelerator solutions that can deliver high-energy X-rays for inspecting cargo, or an entire physics package for software and interface capabilities, Varex can offer as much of the imaging solution as you need, in a combination that’s right for you.


Varex Imaging
Varex Imaging Corporation is a leading independent supplier of medical X-ray tubes and image processing solutions. From medical imaging to cargo screening and border security, our components are used by X-ray imaging system manufacturers around the globe to detect, diagnose, and protect. Our products are designed to harness the power of X-ray energy to pioneer advances in many applications. We offer a wide range of products, including X-ray tubes, X-ray detectors, high-voltage connectors, X-ray collimators, ionization chambers, mammography paddles, solid-state automatic exposure control systems, buckies for digital imaging, X-ray acquisition software, post-processing software for any imaging modalities, including AI algorithm. Our goal is to help our customers become world-class system suppliers by strengthening their competitiveness and enabling them to bring products to market faster. Our rich history spans 75+ years of dedication to the imaging industry, but our everyday work is devoted to our partners’ success.

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