Contract no.323E/01.10.2012 for co-financial support of Romanian partners in EUREKA-EUROSTARS projects participation (DCXScan)

National funded projects
October, 2012 to May, 2015

Financed by UEFISCDI – INNOVATION Programme  - European Cooperation Subprogramme Eureka - Eurostars
Digital Colour X-Ray Security Scanning System, acronym DCXScan

Eureka  number: E!7308
Project Coordinator: KROMEK Ltd.
Project Manager: Nigel DAY;
Total value of the project:  1.145.398 RON
State Budget value: 572.699 RON

Partners:    Kromek Ltd. – United Kingdom

                 Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum German Cancer Research Center, acronym DKFZ – Heidelberg, Germany

                     ACCENT PRO 2000 SRL (AP2K) - Bucharest, Romania

Project Outline: The project is aimed at the development of an innovative Digital Colour X-ray Security Scanning System (DCXScan) and component technologies aimed primarily at Liquid Explosive Detection. This will lead to the development of new baggage screening products for use in air transport and other checkpoint security applications. The system will be based on fast and affordable spectral x-ray scanning using a new digital colour x-ray detector. Advanced 3D image reconstruction and multi-energy materials discrimination algorithms will be developed and implemented to locate and identify threat substances (specifically Liquids, Aerogels and Gels (LAGs)) within containers.

The project will address the continuing need for checkpoint security systems that can detect explosives carried by hand into public spaces, including airports, important buildings, high profile events and other Critical Infrastructure. The project addresses the urgent need for Liquid Explosive Detection Systems (LEDS) that can quickly and accurately identify threats in all LAGs carried in hand luggage. These include drinks bottles, perfumes and spray canisters, liquid medications, food in sauces, shaving foam, cosmetics in the form of creams, lotions, pastes and gels etc. To meet the needs of stakeholders (i.e. the travelling public, airport and aircraft operators and regulatory authorities) these systems must have a higher probability of detection and lower false alarm rate than currently developed systems, whilst being fast and affordable.

The aim of the project is to develop the DCXScan capability to enable a new x-ray scanner product to be on the market by 2014 that will meet the operational and economic needs of airport operators in a global marketplace. The initial product is aimed at the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) 'Type C' capability, whereby LAGs are separated from luggage to pass through the scanner within multiple containers. The same technology developed in this project can then be taken forward to 'Type D' capability that will, for the first time, enable threat detection of LAGs within multiple containers within hand luggage (see Annex for LEDS type descriptions). This will enable current restrictions on carrying LAGs in hand luggage to be lifted, improve the passenger experience and enhance the safety of the public.

Duration: 24 months

Project’s expected results:  The development of an innovative X-Ray Security Scanning System intended for the explosive liquids detection in the airports.

Partners list: 
KROMEK Ltd (United Kingdom)
Eurostars Programme


Phase I – Preliminary studies
Activity I.1 – Studies and Preliminary Analysis
Deadline : 15/12/201

Results:This first phase of the project was focused on the following activities:

 1.  Meeting of all project partners: Kromek ltd.- UK, United Kingdom, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ) - German Institute for the Study of Cancer, Heidelberg, Germany and Accent Pro 2000 SRL (AP2K), Romania, held in the location of DKFZ partner (Heidleberg, Germany) and had the following objectives:
-  Presentation of  partner’s expertise areas
-  Signature of the ,,Consortium Agreement "
-  Establish major technical objectives of the project
-  Analysis of the current situation of equipment produced by Kromek Ltd. and the first directions for improvement
-  Main research and development directions, implementation plan, activities

2.  Analysis of existing Kromek by AP2K

3. AP2K' Studies and preliminary experiments of the equipment

         ,, The first experiments of AP2K are relevant and can be the basis for the following tests and procedures required in the project. However, following the first meeting of partners at Heidleberg and subsequent detailed analysis of each partner’s tasks a work plan and a schedule for the ultimate goal of the project were unanimously approved: realization of a competitive prototype for testing liquid containers to detect hazardous liquids (explosive) in the domain of airport security. "



Phase II - Design and realization hazardous materials detection algorithms
Activity II.1 - Design and development pattern detection algorithms hazardous materials.
Deadline: 30/06/2013

Results: This phase of the project was focused on the following activities generated by regular working meeting of partners:

Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany
Accent Pro 2000 SRL (AP2K), Romania,

The meeting was held in Kromek partner location in Durham, United Kingdom and consisted of:

- Presentation of tests and experiments carried out by AP2K
- DKFZ  presentation of data analysis collected with the current Kromek product equipment and discussing its development proposal.
- AP2K ‘s proposal of a new type of equipment based on algorithms partially tested by our laboratory

All the excellent results obtained by the test procedures of the algorithm for measuring the diameter and thickness of the container wall and preliminary implementation of the liquid detection algorithms were presented to our partners altogether with the general design of the device based on the final results. All the results, including the overall design of the project have been unanimously accepted by partners, further work being fully channeled to achieve all the technologies involved in order to complete the final rapid technological solutions.


Stage III - Preliminary laboratory tests
Activity III.1 Preliminary laboratory tests and experiments
Deadline : 11/20/2013

Results:This phase of the project was focused on the implementation of the original technique developed by AP2K on determining effective atomic number (Zeff) and density of liquids in containers and also on the development of laboratory tests and preliminary experiments using various benign and potentially dangerous liquids. Checking the power of detection between the pair of "problem liquids" - water (juice) and hydrogen peroxide, was primarily intended.

The method used for measuring the inner and outer diameter and wall thickness respectively containers was used for the development and implementation of liquid identification algorithm as presented in the previous phase.The applied geometry was a simplified one - compared to the previous phase, since now we are using dual-energy detectors in both orthogonal projections, a "low-cost" solution more likely to be used in the final device.

In the present stage of the project was also necessary to modify the operation of the experimental program by introducing rotation axis control and twin dual-energy detector measurement.

For the determination of the liquid type an algorithm for measuring the attenuation coefficients assembly has been implemented, namely the attenuation coefficient for low power (Low MIU) and high energy (High MIU), based on the use of the algorithm applied for measuring the diameter of the container and thickness of its walls, as shown in the previous phase of the project.

In Figure 4 is shown a first screen of the program which highlights areas for processing scan data acquired from a bottle glass, i.e. to calculate the wall thickness and the diameter of the liquid in it  and also the calculation of the attenuation coefficients at the two energies.

Further, an improved measuring algorithm is applied to the selected data to establish wall thickness and diameter of the liquid, as shown in Figure 5. The changes made regard in particular to statistical analysis since their acquisition was carried out at a high Scanning speed of approximately 5 cm/s.

Preliminary experiments for a total of six liquids in glass containers of 330ml were conducted, the results showing a good discriminatory power between similar substances such as water and hydrogen peroxide, two of the most difficult to distinguish liquids by current technologies.

The results were also presented on the Project Review Meeting held on 2nd-3rd of September 2013 in Bucharest, Romania.


Phase IV - Prototype algorithms implementation. Final tests.
Activity IV.1 – Implementation of detection algorithms of dangerous material in the Scanner. Final tests. Patent.
Deadline : 30/05/2014


Phase V - Report on economic effects
Activity V.1 - Report on econmic effects of the project
Deadline stage: 30/05/2015