July 29, 2014: Rapiscan Systems, Inc., a leading global supplier of security inspection systems, today announced that it has been awarded a contract by the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to determine the feasibility of automatically detecting batteries in air cargo.
The contract with the UK CAA, supported by UK Department for Transport funding, calls for Rapiscan to develop advanced detection algorithms to establish the extent to which lithium batteries transported within air cargo can be identified.
"The transport of undeclared lithium batteries through air cargo presents a safety risk that the CAA continues to address," said Ian Shaw, CAA's State Safety Programme Manager. "The CAA chose Rapiscan for this important project because they have the technical expertise to gather and process significant test data".
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has identified the need to regulate the transport of lithium batteries. According to a recent IATA report, beginning January 1, 2015, lithium-metal batteries transported as cargo will be restricted to cargo aircraft only.
Over the nine-month contract period of performance, Rapiscan will examine various cargo configurations and develop, test, and evaluate advanced image-processing software tools for their efficacy. Results of this study may be used by the CAA to propose new air-cargo handling policies, and may encourage further technology advancement toward the commercial use of software tools to assist air cargo inspectors.
"Rapiscan is pleased to have been chosen by the UK CAA to work with them on this important project for our air cargo customers," said Brad Buswell, President, Rapiscan North America. "Rapiscan Labs, our corporate research and development division, is a technology leader in the area of advanced threat detection algorithms. Rapiscan has a successful track record in the development of detection technologies for the aviation industry, and this project will further expand our support for air cargo safety and security."