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Improving the Security of U.S. Harbors and Seaports

NCJ Number
Homeland Defense Journal Volume: 5 Issue: 11 Dated: November 2007 Pages: 30-32
Don Philpott
Date Published
3 pages
This article describes the technologies and systems available for securing U.S. harbors and seaports.
Helping lead the fight to make the Nation's ports safer is Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), which has just won orders for a scanning technology totaling $33 million from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The technology, which includes SAIC's vanguard VACIS P7500 X-ray inspection system, will help DHS scan high volumes of cargo containers for weapons, explosives, and other threats before they enter U.S. borders. SAIC's integrated container information system (ICIS) offers a new, integrated-system solution to the shipping industry's challenge of enhancing container security without impeding shipping traffic. When equipped with SAIC's high-speed radiographic imaging, radiation scanning, and Optical Character Recognition capabilities, ICIS can scan high volumes of containers in the normal flow of traffic at the gates. The EmptyView empty-container verification system provides a faster, safer solution to the slowdown that results from verifying empty containers. The EmptyView system uses SAIC's advanced gamma-ray scanning technology to scan the interior of closed containers in moving traffic quickly and safely. The Crane View Optical Character Recognition (OCR) system streamlines the discharge and loading processes by automatically reading and recording the ID number of containers as they are moved by quay cranes. Vehicle Identification technology uses OCR to read automatically the license plates of moving vehicles in a variety of traffic environments. The Mobile VACIS unit consists of a truck-mounted, nonintrusive gamma-ray imaging system that produces radiographic images used in the evaluation of the contents of trucks, containers, cargo, and passenger vehicles in order to determine the presence of many types of contraband. The Portal VACIS system provides gamma-ray images of intermodal cargo containers, semi-trailers, and delivery vehicles. It is ideal for high-traffic situations that make lengthy inspection processes impractical.