PALO ALTO, Calif., May 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) today announced that it has developed a new type of X-ray linear accelerator that will enable cargo screening systems to automatically alert operators if suspicious materials are detected. The Varian Linatron® K9 accelerator, for the first time, will make it possible to build cargo screening systems that can scan containers and analyze images to determine the nature of the contents.
"The Varian Linatron K9 represents a major milestone in the effort to develop fast, accurate, and automated cargo screening systems that can improve homeland security without impeding the flow of commerce," said Lester Boeh, vice president for Varian's Security & Inspection Products business. "This technology has the capacity to take us beyond what you can conventionally see with X-rays, making it possible to identify special nuclear materials as well as view container contents."
Inspection systems built around the Linatron K9 would scan fully loaded cargo containers and then utilize specialized image-analysis software to analyze the resulting X-ray images for quick identification of dangerous materials. Varian will supply the Linatron K9 to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and system integrators, who build cargo screening vehicles and facilities for the world's seaports and airports.
"The high-energy X-rays from the Linatron K9 can penetrate seventeen inches of solid steel to generate fast, high-resolution images," Boeh commented. "We believe it can screen a fully-loaded container faster than any other non-intrusive inspection system available in the world."
An Interdigitated Dual-Energy Accelerator
The Linatron K9 is the first "interdigitated" dual-energy accelerator designed specifically for cargo screening. It emits X-rays in a pattern that alternates between two energy levels at lightning speed -- more than 400 times per second. By analyzing the X-rays that emerge when a cargo container is scanned, systems equipped with the Linatron K9 can generate information about high-density objects and nuclear materials in cargo containers.
Varian's Proven Linatron Technology
The intellectual property behind the new K9 technology is an extension of the technology in the company's proven high-energy Linatron accelerator for non-destructive testing (NDT) and cargo screening applications. Varian's Security & Inspection Products business has delivered over 100 high-energy Linatron X-ray accelerators for cargo inspection to more than 35 locations worldwide. The new dual energy K9 builds upon this legacy.
Although high-energy X-ray screening technology for cargo inspection has not been widely deployed in the U.S., many countries around the world have adopted this approach, primarily for manifest verification and revenue enhancement. The Linatron K9 cargo screening technology could significantly improve security in the U.S., where some eight million cargo containers enter the country annually through over 360 seaports.
Varian will introduce the K9 dual energy accelerator to the cargo screening industry at the upcoming Air and Port Security Expo in Brussels, Belgium on June 22-23, 2005.
Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California is the world's leading manufacturer of integrated cancer therapy systems, which are treating thousands of patients per day. The company is also a premier supplier of X-ray tubes and flat-panel digital subsystems for imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 3,280 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America and Europe and in its 56 sales and support offices around the world. Additional information is available on the company's web site at http://www.varian.com/.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements in this press release regarding future business, events, plans, objectives, expectations, estimates, and other similar matters, including, but not limited to, statements using the terms "will," "can," and "possible" constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements contained in this press release are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, including, but not limited to, the ability of the company to successfully introduce and gain customer acceptance of the K9 dual energy accelerator, the ability of the company to produce, sell and deliver distribute in commercial quantities at sufficient margins, such accelerator, the ability of OEMs and cargo screening system integrators to successfully incorporate such accelerators, and the risks described in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and other reports filed from time to time by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements represent the company's judgment as of the date of this press release. The company assumes no obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements because of new information, future events, or otherwise.
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SOURCE: Varian Medical Systems, Inc.
Web site: http://www.varian.com/