CSOSG - Concepts, Systèmes et Outils pour la Sécurité Globale

X-ray backscatter imaging and X-ray radiographic system for analyzing suspicious items – DIRTACOS

Submission summary

The DIRTACOS project aim ("Dispositif d'Imagerie en Rétrodiffusion et Transmission pour l'Analyse de COlis Suspects") is to realize an industrial prototype of a versatile X Ray Imaging System, portable and functioning on battery for the non intrusive inspection and analysis of suspicious items. This system is dedicated to Homeland Security teams, as E.O.D. teams (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) and customs, in order to offer them a new tool for the research of dangerous and illicit goods (explosives, drugs …).
Up to now, the only portable systems commercially available use the radiographic technique. Performances of these systems are limited in certain cases, for instance a suspicious luggage is placed against a wall or if it contains a component opaque of X Rays.
Unlike radiography, X ray backscatter imaging can provide a solution if it is static and portable, because it allows to perform an image of item content from one side and without moving or touching it. X ray backscatter is currently jointed to X ray radiography in scanner systems. They are fixed and huge but they also need a relative translation between scanner and object: they are not convenient for our purposes.
That’s why CEA / DIF has developed in the past a laboratory prototype using X ray backscatter imaging technique based on a portable radiographic system, offering the performances required by end users. The prototype has proved the technical feasibility but improvements are needed to transform it in a frilly operational system, respecting the strong constraints of set up by end users.
The successful validation of X ray backscatter imaging technique led to propose, in the DIRTACOS project, the realization of an industrial prototype, integrating both functionalities (X ray Radiography and Backscatter) in single equipment, portable, autonomous, functioning in rugged conditions, both for EOD and custom applications. This challenge constitutes the originality and innovation for this project.
To perform this aim, are needed:
• the choose of the best commercially available pieces of equipment (portable X ray detector and tube),
• and to optimize the conception of the imaging disposal dedicated to X ray backscatter technique,
• and to adapt the two functionalities in order for them to become compatible from technical, mechanical, control and software (acquisition and processing) points of view. The final system must fulfill weight, a quick and easy set up requirements.
Participants of this project, lasting 24 months, are:
• CEA / DIF that will have to choose and qualify components and also manage the project,
• The MAPMO laboratory (Mathematics and Applications, Mathematical Physics Orleans), which will support the development of methods of deconvolution and image processing,
• COMAT company that will have in charge the conception and realization of the imaging disposal dedicated to backscatter technique,
• Fournié Grospaud Synerys company that will have to realize the complete integration and control of the future prototype.

Project coordination

Rémy MARMORET (Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


CEA Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives
MAPMO Laboratoire Mathématiques et Applications, Physique Mathématique d'Orléans
F. G. SYNERYS Fournié Grospaud Synerys

Help of the ANR 531,820 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: January 2014 - 24 Months

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