Security check

Better X-ray screening to improve safety at airports

Physics Image analysis Computer calculations

The growing safety challenge in air traffic often creates chaos and delays in airports’ luggage handling. Now a number of companies and research groups in the Danish X-ray industry will come together to develop more efficient screening systems for luggage security checks at airports.

These days, there is lot of pressure on the systems at airports, which ensure that checked-in luggage is subject to reliable safety checks.

The amount of luggage is increasing rapidly while safety requirements are tightened. Add to this that the X-ray scanning technologies date back to 1944, and you have problems. Innovation Fund Denmark has now granted DKK 22 million to the development of a new system for luggage control, which is both more reliable and efficient.

The project is headed by Ulrik Lund Olsen from DTU Physics, and involves experts within X-ray technology, intelligent imaging and service-friendly design.

Tens of thousands of luggage items are checked manually today
Currently, airports use a high number of security staff to perform the arduous task of screening all luggage. Even with a higher degree of automation, the uncertainty of the current procedure leads to tens of thousands of luggage items having to go through manual security checks. 

"Today, 30 per cent of the luggage has to be re-scanned. We imagine that we can reduce the number to 10 per cent."
Ulrik Lund Olsen, DTU Physics

“Today, 30 per cent of the luggage has to be re-scanned. We imagine that we can go from automatic checking of 70 per cent of the luggage to as much as 90 per cent, says Project Manager Ulrik Lund Olsen from DTU Physics.

Together, the project participants will create an intelligent and automated screening system which far more efficiently can go through the large quantities of luggage which daily passes through airports all over the world.

“Instead of the airport having a screen with one image at one angle and in black and white, you get pictures from different angles in colours,” explains Ulrik Lund Olsen about the prospects for the project for which Innovation Fund Denmark has granted DKK 22 million.

The consortium behind the project brings together competencies in industrial X-ray at Innospexion and Magnatek with internationally recognized university groups within X-ray and X-ray analysis—DTU Physics, DTU Compute, and the Niels Bohr Institute at University of Copenhagen.

These competencies are complemented by expertise in the field of technical development projects in DIS and security systems for airports from Accent Pro 2000 and Udviklingsselskabet af 2014. 

About the project

Investment by Innovation Fund Denmark:    DKK 22 million
 Total project budget:
  DKK 30 million
Duration of the project
   Three years
 Official project title:
    CIL2018 NextGen Scanner for Checked In Luggage
  DTU Physics 
DTU Compute 
University of Copenhagen 
Innospexion ApS 
Exruptive A/S 
Magnatek ApS 
Accent 2000