What is x-ray baggage scanner and how does it work?

September 2, 2021
Latest company news about What is x-ray baggage scanner and how does it work?

What is an x-ray baggage scanner and how does it work?

  1. 1. How do security x-ray scanner machine work
  2. 2. Basic principles of security x-ray scanner machine
  3. 3. Subtleties of the analysis of the resulting image
  4. 4. How safe is the x-ray security scanner at work?
  5. 5. Types of inspection equipment
  6. 6. What can be detected using an X-ray baggage scanner
  7. 7. Requirements for X-ray baggage scanners

X-ray security inspection systems, which is more often referred to simply as airport x-ray scanner machine or x-ray baggage scanner, are designed to ensure security and detect prohibited items or items, as well as potentially dangerous items. Some products are designed for checking baggage, hand luggage, correspondence and parcels, bulky goods. Weapons, explosives, organic materials, and much more can be detected by X-rays, which affect objects of different sizes and densities, transmitting the resulting image to the operator's screen.

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Security x-ray scanner machines of different series from different manufacturers can be made in any design and size. Small designs are ideal for inspecting parcels in post offices, and for inspecting bags and packages in public places. Stationary systems with large parameters are capable of detecting prohibited items and materials in suitcases, shipping containers, and other containers, and therefore install security x-ray scanner machines at airports, railway stations, nuclear power plants, and other places where it is necessary to comply with increased security measures.


1. How do security x-ray scanner machines work

Stationary x-ray security scanner machines are most popular because of their convenience and ease of use. However, despite the apparent simplicity, the operation of the product should be carried out exclusively by operators who have received appropriate training.


2. Basic principles of security x-ray scanner machine


The principle of operation of an X-ray baggage scanner (x-ray security scanner) is based on X-ray structural analysis. It is due to the diffraction scattering of radiation obtained with the use of IRS (sources of ionizing radiation) that a projection of the internal structure of the object is created.



To check if there are any prohibited or undeclared things inside the luggage, it is necessary to place a bag, parcel, suitcase, cargo, or other inspected object on the moving conveyor belt of the x-ray security scanner. After the object enters the x-ray security scanner, it is irradiated with an X-ray tube from a certain angle. Depending on the design features of the installation, the tube can be located at the bottom, side, or top of the tunnel.


In the process of irradiation, the directional X-ray beam is scattered, colliding with objects of various thicknesses and densities. Because of this, some of the radiation energy is lost. After this happens, the residual energy will be recorded by special detectors and converted into electrical signals. They already enter the processing unit, where they are processed, displaying an X-ray image of the inspected object on the operator's screen.


High-density materials and objects absorb a large amount of radiation, and therefore on the screen, such objects are indicated by darker colors. Accordingly, products and substances with low density are capable of absorbing a small amount of radiation; they are indicated in the image with lighter colors. Due to this, the operator gets a complete picture of the contents of the baggage, parcel, or cargo. The image on the screen conveys the entire internal structure of the object.


X-rays have the following key features:

invisible to the human eye, they penetrate through opaque objects and bodies;

absorbed the more intensively, the larger the ordinal (atomic) number of the substance understudy in the Mendeleev table;

cause the glow of certain chemical compounds and substances;

spread linearly (unable to bend around objects).


3. Subtleties of the analysis of the resulting image

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If earlier security x-ray scanner machines for inspection of baggage and cargo could transmit images only in black and white, now most models provide for the use of an extensive color palette. Moreover, the projection of potentially dangerous or prohibited items and substances will have a specific color, which clearly shows the operator that it is necessary to carefully examine the object. Also, special color markers are available for organic materials.


The x-ray security scanner analyzes the loss of X-ray radiation at different energy levels, which makes it possible to classify the contents of inspected objects into three groups. Detection of organic, inorganic, and intermediate substances is implied. In color, these are yellow, blue, or green, respectively.


The development of production allows companies to create more and more advanced models of IRS installations in order to obtain a better image, effectively isolating potentially hazardous, undeclared and prohibited substances.


4. How safe is the x-ray security scanner at work?


Since the principle of operation of the x-ray security scanner is directly dependent on X-ray radiation, safety precautions must be observed when working with the devices. The operator, however, needs to undergo appropriate training, during which he only has to learn how to analyze the image transmitted to the screen, but also know how to act in the event of an emergency or potentially dangerous situation.


Any modern x-ray security scanner is absolutely safe in operation. Inspected objects are scanned due to radiation, but such radiation is completely harmless to inanimate objects. She is unable to harm them. As well as food, cosmetics and other substances and materials in the luggage.


People, on the other hand, are protected from the harmful effects of radiation, since the design of the installations does not allow the penetration of rays outside the body. The only way in which a dose of radiation can still be transferred to a person is by entering and exiting the tunnel. They are protected by special shutters, which contain polymers and heavy metals to properly shield the x-ray security scanner radiation. Therefore, it is categorically not recommended to dive inside the x-ray security scanner to quickly pull out your suitcase. In all other cases, security x-ray scanner machines are completely harmless, and therefore the operators do not even use protective suits during their work.


5. Types of inspection equipment


X-ray baggage scanners, security x-ray scanner machines, are classified into three main categories, in accordance with hygienic requirements:

Stationary installations with a precisely directed radiation beam. The inspection camera in such devices is closed, and the controlled object is located on a moving belt. Radiation protection is provided due to the special structure of the x-ray security scanner body. Living objects do not fall into the coverage area of the radiation beam, and therefore such an event seems to be completely safe for them. High voltage in the X-ray tube is provided only for the duration of the inspection of the inspected object.

Stationary installations with a wide beam of radiation. The inspection chamber in such devices is closed, completely eliminating the possibility of radiation leaving the control zone. The object inside is stationary. Such devices are used for more detailed and thorough checks.

Mobile X-ray scanners with an open-source of radiation. Such devices are deprived of stationary protection. The operation of an X-ray security scanner intended for mobile use should be carried out by an operator in a protective suit with special protective equipment. All other observers must leave the search area to a safe distance.

According to their design and operational features, X-ray baggage scanners are divided into several groups. So, devices can be distinguished by a purpose:

direct action (fluorographic medical, not related to inspection activities);

surface sensing;

portable small-sized scanning type;

scanning X-ray baggage scanners;

mobile (mobile) systems.

And by the type of radiation, the following installations are distinguished:

with combined radiation;

with absorbed;

with absent-minded.

All these products are actively used in various fields.


6. What can be detected using an X-ray baggage scanner


X-ray security probes have many applications. Depending on the area in which this or that equipment is used, the objects of detection can also be classified.


So, if we are talking about the prevention of terrorist acts, then a security x-ray scanner machine for inspection of baggage and cargo will have to detect explosives, flammable liquids, and weapons of any type. At the same time, a weapon is understood as a fairly wide range of items. So, if for travel in an intercity bus it is enough to exclude knives, pistols, and similar products, then during an inspection at the airport, nail scissors and nail files can be recognized as potentially dangerous. Therefore, X-ray security stationary security x-ray scanner machines are so appreciated, capable of recognizing any products, materials, and substances that may be recognized as prohibited.


In addition to the anti-terrorist threat, X-ray systems are also capable of preventing theft in shops and warehouses. This implies that the items in the bag or package will be inspected so that the operator can search for objects or things that should not be in the object under investigation.


7. Requirements for X-ray baggage scanners


It is important that the installations themselves fully comply with modern safety requirements. Thus, the Customs Code of the Eurasian Economic Union indicates the need to use devices that are exceptionally safe for living beings. Even the requirements that X-ray installations must meet are spelled out:

at their expense, it is possible to ensure high performance of the inspection;

they are ergonomic and comfortable to use;

reveal 100% of hidden attachments;

safe for others and staff;

do not have a negative impact on food and items.

If you would like to choose a suitable X-ray baggage scanner, order delivery and installation of an x-ray security scanner, as well as train operators to work with the device, please contact our company.

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