CBP intends on using these devices as part of its non-intrusive inspection (NII) program, which is responsible for inspecting cargo, vehicles, packages, parcels, rail cars, trucks, and containers without physically opening them to examine their contents. The program is an essential part of efficiently facilitating trade while protecting the U.S. from harmful materials and other contraband.
Why Backscatter Technology Is Important
Because the energy that is returned is dependent on the object’s material composition, backscatter imagers can differentiate inorganic from organic materials. Unlike traditional x-rays scans that rely on energy passing through an object to determine its contents, backscatter images require less powerful x-rays which are absorbed more efficiently by the objects being scanned. The resulting image has photo-like qualities, depicting the contours and material composition of the object. Backscatter technology assists CBP Officers in identifying and detecting drugs, weapons, explosives and other contraband hidden inside containers, parcels, packages, cargo, and all modes of transportation.