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SAIC acquires Spectrum San Diego’s CarScan traffic scanning system

January 6, 2010

SAIC acquires Spectrum San Diego’s CarScan traffic scanning system

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) has announced that it has completed the acquisition of Spectrum San Diego, a high-tech security firm specializing in ultra-low-dose X-ray scanning systems. Under the agreement, SAIC has acquired Spectrum’s CarScan product line, which scans cars and vans in the normal flow of traffic at vehicle checkpoints, such as borders and high security government facilities. CarScan’s X-ray images enable security personnel to look for weapons, drugs, currency, stowaways, and other hidden contraband. Spectrum’s customers include the US Government, law enforcement and military organizations.

The CarScan system is designed for high throughput and operational flexibility, minimizing its impact on traffic flow. In typical operating situations, the driver and passengers remain inside the vehicle as they drive through the system at a vehicle checkpoint. The system operates with a patent-pending technique called, ‘K-Edge Switched Energy’, which simultaneously screens the vehicle at two different energies, allowing metal and organic objects to be electronically separated by advanced computer processing. Organic threats such as explosives, stowaways, and drugs are displayed in shades of yellow and red, allowing the operator to quickly understand the vehicle’s contents. Conventional X-ray systems use a single-energy beam which has no ability to distinguish metal from organic objects.

Spectrum’s CarScan product will be integrated into SAIC’s Security and Transportation Technology Business Unit. The business unit develops VACIS X-ray and gamma-ray inspection systems, Exploranium radiation-detection systems, and other products for scanning vehicles and cargo containers. CarScan expands SAIC’s capabilities for scanning light vehicles. “We’re very pleased to add CarScan to our product portfolio,” said Alex Preston, SAIC senior vice president and business unit general manager. “It fits our philosophy of ‘security in the flow of commerce.’ As we’re seeing on our southern border, weapons, drugs, cash and stowaways in light vehicles are a growing challenge. CarScan is a cost-effective way to help stem the tide without slowing traffic.”

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