Viken Introduces Under Vehicle Scanner; CBP Plans Evaluation
By Cal Biesecker
November 12, 2019
Viken Detection this month unveiled an X-Ray system that can provide real-time imaging for under vehicle inspection, including compartments and spaces beneath the occupants, for relatively high-throughput uses at the border, critical infrastructure, embassies and other security and military checkpoints.
Customs and Border Protection has purchased four of the Osprey-UVX under vehicle inspection systems for use at four lanes at two southern land ports of entry.
"As the system is shown to be successful and demonstrates well in live action, we'll continue to roll out more of these systems," Jim Ryan, CEO of Viken, tells HSR.
Ryan says that typically, vehicles will pass over the in-ground Osprey-UVX at between five to 10 miles per hour as part of the pre-primary screening process without the occupants having to exit their vehicle. At these speeds, the under vehicle screening won't create a chokepoint before vehicles arrive at the primary inspection booth, he says.
Currently, CBP relies on camera-based systems to inspect the surface space under a vehicle. The Osprey-UVX goes beyond the surface to penetrate spaces under the vehicle "where we believe a lot of drug trafficking and concealment is taking place," Ryan said.
Viken is supplying passenger and commercial vehicle versions of the Osprey-UVX, and the company says it is developing a mobile version.
Up until now, Viken sold handheld backscatter X-Ray imagers to detect concealed explosives, drugs and contraband hidden inside vehicles. The company has sold nearly 1,000 of the HBI-120 handheld systems.
In addition to the Osprey-UVX, early in 2020 the company will launch and begin demonstrations of a new drive-through portal scanner, the Osprey-EVX, which will complement the Osprey-UVX.
If initial demonstrations in the company's facilities for CBP go well, Ryan expects the agency to expand its evaluation to actual deployments.
The Osprey-UVX is a standalone system that can work in series with other imaging systems such as handhelds and portals, Ryan says. The system can be integrated with the Osprey-EVX, he says.
The EVX is designed to be lightweight, compact and modular for installation in different configurations, Ryan says. The system is designed to be "future-proof," he says.
Congress in fiscal year 2019 appropriated more than $560 million to CBP for the acquisition of non-intrusive inspection systems for use at various ports of entry. So far, the agency has spent very little of that as it sorts out the contracting vehicles it wants to use and the systems it will purchase. Ryan says his company will benefit from some of this spending.
Viken is also getting interest from foreign governments for the UVX for counter-terrorism applications, Ryan says.