American Science & Engineering

Its X-ray vision uncovers the naked truth

The 1993 Buick Le Sabre parked at American Science & Engineering Inc. (AS&E) looks innocent enough. But when a mobile X-ray system made by AS&E pulls up next to the tan sedan, a computer screen reveals a chilling scene: 120 pounds of explosives and 60 pounds of drugs and cigarettes hidden in the trunk, fenders, doors, bumper, and speakers. The objects are hidden in plastic drums and behind panels, making it difficult for standard screening systems to identify them. At a border crossing, it’s likely the car “would pass right through,” says Doug Palmer, AS&E’s technical marketing manager.

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