Market Profile: X-Ray in Security Applications

July 1, 2006
Spectroscopy

Volume 21, Issue 7

The market for X-ray inspection in security applications has quickly developed from being virtually nonexistent three decades ago to becoming a market worth over $1 billion in 2005. Airport security accounts for the majority of the demand for this market, which consists of a number of variations of X-ray technology.

The market for X-ray inspection in security applications has quickly developed from being virtually nonexistent three decades ago to becoming a market worth over $1 billion in 2005. Airport security accounts for the majority of the demand for this market, which consists of a number of variations of X-ray technology.

2005 X-Ray Security Market Applications

The use of X-ray technology for security applications first developed in the 1970s due to the demand for the inspection of carry-on baggage for weapons at airports, starting in the United States. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, more advanced X-ray inspection technologies were used to inspect checked baggage for explosives. As terrorist attacks have become a more common occurrence, the application of X-ray inspection has been expanded further in airport security. However, it is also now seeing very strong growth in cargo inspection applications, as well as significant use in government and other potential target facilities.

The most commonly recognized X-ray inspection systems are transmission systems, which can identify patterns, but are not particularly adept at identifying explosive compounds. They are primarily used to check carry-on baggage at airports. Dual energy X-ray systems can differentiate between organic and inorganic compounds, and are used for both carry-on and checked baggage. The most advanced systems are computed tomography (CT) systems, which can cost over $1 million each, and are used for checked baggage inspection.

The foregoing data were extracted from SDi's market analysis and perspectives report entitled Analytical Instrumentation for Security Applications, May 2006. For more information, contact Stuart Press, Senior Consultant, Strategic Directions International, Inc., 6242 Westchester Parkway, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90045, (310) 641-4982, fax: (310) 641-8851, www.strategic-directions.com.