U.S. Customs Service Orders ARACOR's Eagle Mobile Cargo Inspection System for U.S. Seaports | Varian

{ "pageType": "news-article", "title": "U.S. Customs Service Orders ARACOR's Eagle Mobile Cargo Inspection System for U.S. Seaports", "articleDate": "March 07, 2003", "introText": "", "category": "" }

U.S. Customs Service Orders ARACOR's Eagle Mobile Cargo Inspection System for U.S. Seaports

SUNNYVALE, CA - March 10, 2003 - Advanced Research and ApplicationsCorporation (ARACOR), a leading manufacturer of x-ray imaging systems,
announces that it has received a five-year contract with the U.S. Customs
Service (USCS) for Eagle cargo inspection systems. The Eagle is designed for
inspecting cargo and trucks at seaports and other ports of entry. The primary
use by USCS and many other nations will be to prevent the smuggling of
weapons, explosives, drugs and other contraband. However, some nations have
expressed interest in such an inspection capability for financial reasons - to
combat duty fraud and prevent the export of stolen goods.

There is no limit to the number of systems that can be ordered under this
contract, which has an estimated value in excess of $40 million. An initial
order was placed for two Eagles. The order also provides for the development
of new technology, which will provide additional operational flexibility and
support new Customs programs.

"The inspection requirements facing our nation are enormous," said Dr. R. A.
Armistead, President of ARACOR. "There are 185 commercial deep-water ports
comprising over 1,900 public and private marine terminals with over 3,200
berths for deep draught vessels. In 2001, the USCS processed more than 214,000
vessels and 5.7 million sea containers. The USCS has been successfully
operating an Eagle at the Port of Miami since 2001."

Dr. Armistead added, "We are pleased that the Eagle has been selected for use
at U.S. seaports and will play an important role in fighting terrorism and
protecting our country! Seaports alone represent a substantial business
opportunity for ARACOR. In addition, the Eagle can be used to inspect trucks
and rail cars at land borders or at the entry point to facilities."

Why inspect cargo

There are many reasons that countries conduct inspections at their borders and
ports of entry. It is well known that many countries suffer annual losses in
the billions of dollars due to duty fraud. In addition, inspections are
conducted to detect drugs, weapons, explosives and other types of contraband.
In the U.S., there is a growing concern that attempts may be made to smuggle a
weapon of mass destruction into the country. At most international ports,
thousands of cargo containers arrive and depart daily. Thus, it is very
important to have a system that can penetrate virtually all cargoes, is
accurate and provides high inspection throughput. The Eagle is such a system -
inspectors can now rapidly and economically inspect substantially more
containers to combat terrorism, to verify customs declarations and detect

The Eagle inspection system

The Eagle represents the world's most efficient and economical means of
radiographically examining cargo containers and trucks to detect contraband
and to verify manifests. The Eagle provides exceptional operational
flexibility; it moves under its own power from one location to another and can
be transported intact by ship, or disassembled for shipment by truck or rail.
The Eagle can rapidly and accurately inspect trucks and cargo containers, even
when loaded with dense cargo. Its 6 MV linear accelerator x-ray source from
Varian Medical Systems (NYSE:VAR) provides high-energy operation and, hence,
greater cargo penetration and faster inspection rates than any other mobile
inspection system. Cargo equivalent to more than 300 mm (12 inches) of steel
can be penetrated and a 20-foot sea cargo container can be scanned in less
than thirty seconds! The image is immediately available to the inspector.
Although the comprehensive evaluation of an image can take minutes, new
wireless data communications technology enables additional inspectors at a
separate location to participate in image evaluation. Tests by teams from
other government agencies have demonstrated that the Eagle provides superior
imaging performance and is the only self-propelled system whose beam can
penetrate and image the contents of fluid-filled tank cars and refrigerated

Furthermore, the Eagle's unique design ensures that it can be safely operated
in congested areas, such as seaports and border crossings, without employing
large exclusion areas or radiation badges for personnel. In addition,
measurements have determined that a stowaway hidden in a truck or container as
it is being inspected by the Eagle would only receive approximately 5% of
his/her annual radiation exposure limit and would not be harmed.

ARACOR (www.aracor.com) headquartered in
Sunnyvale, CA with an office in Dayton, OH is privately held. In addition to
the Eagle cargo inspection system, the company develops and manufactures x-ray
test and inspection systems for industrial nondestructive evaluation and
process control applications, and provides research services in related areas.
ARACOR is a leading manufacturer of digital radiographic (DR) and computed
tomography (CT) systems. Its DR and CT products range from high-resolution
systems designed for the detailed characterization of electronic components
and advanced materials, to high-energy systems designed for inspection of
large, highly-attenuating structures such as castings, rocket motors, nuclear
weapons, automobile components and cargo containers. ARACOR is also developing
systems that can detect special nuclear materials, nuclear weapons, explosives
and drugs while x-ray inspections of the cargo are being conducted by the

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