EURopean Illicit TRAfficking Countermeasures Kit
Shipping is a key international industry; 95% of the world cargo is moved by ship corresponding to over 200 million containers per year exchanged between major seaports. This huge movement leads to a risk that a container could be used by a terrorist group. As a result, the maritime industry must consider very seriously any potential threat for disruption of the trade. Today, inspections of containers are largely based on X-or Gamma Ray systems but they provide limited information about contained objects such as their shape and density. Controllers can not always distinguish between benign and threat materials and need additional information about the chemical composition of suspect items in order to detect illicit materials such as explosives, drugs or dirty bombs. The 3-year EURITRACK STREP aims at increasing the security of the seaports by developing a European Illicit Trafficking Countermeasures Kit to non-intrusively detect explosives or other threat materials concealed in shipping containers. The project will offer to end-users a very useful tool, more advanced than commercial-off-the-shelf equipment in order to optimise the time needed for inspection. The system will consist of an innovative Tagged Neutron Inspection System (TNIS) that will non-intrusively permit an assay of the chemical composition of suspect contents located by X-Ray radiography. Software development is also a crucial part of the project since the innovation in the control system relies on the combination of two complementary techniques. An embedded information system will implement decision-making algorithms taking also into account data from electronic seals. The complete concept will be validated in the largest French container seaport (Le Havre) by the end- users themselves : French Customs as leaders of a European Custom Expert Group.