The primary objective of this effort was to transform two pieces of experimental X-ray absorption baggage inspection hardware developed previously for the Federal Aviation Administration into fully automated units suitable for operational evaluation at airports. The units needed to be highly reliable and maintainable by commercial field service organizations while demonstrating good performance in detection of explosives concealed in checked airline baggage. After a study was conducted to assess the impact and trade-offs associated with various system changes and to identify a list of specific unit modifications and revisions, the two experimental units were then retrofitted with revised and upgraded hardware. A new set of computer software was written to execute automatic operational control of the system and hardware and software were also generated to facilitate computer-aided maintenance procedures. A data base of airline baggage characteristics was generated with the retrofitted units at three airports and used to develop independent optimized adaptive threshold explosive detection algorithms. The algorithm with the highest explosive detection capability was implemented into the two retrofitted units in the form of a replacement set of four plug-in electrically programmable read-only memory (EPROM) integrated circuit chips. Results from operational tests at Dulles Airport indicated that predicted higher level system performance had been achieved.
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