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The Case for Technical-Performance Standards for Radiation Inspection Systems



Lawrence T. Hudson


Technical-performance standards operate within the homeland-security enterprise to save significant time and money while increasing safety to the public. This is illustrated in this white paper through the lens of the standards infrastructure that is being developed to ensure the imaging performance and radiation safety of security-screening systems in the United States that use active radiation probes to detect explosives and other contraband. The products of this effort include standard test objects, test methods, objective scoring algorithms, minimum performance requirements, technical guidance documents, and dosimetry protocols, supported by NIST measurement science and computational modeling. This project responds to government requirements for 100 % screening of transnational cargo and airline passengers and baggage while also establishing the means to harmonize national standards across disparate agencies and with international norms. This report will show how standards gaps are identified and anticipated, and outline the standards-development process, especially highlighting issues unique to technical-performance standardization. Specific use cases are offered that document the impact of measurement standards when applied across the life cycle of radiation inspection systems in ways that complement and inform threat-based and operational testing and evaluation (T&E). Finally, a list of specific benefits to both public and private sector actors is given that, based upon experience to date, demonstrates the manifold and leveraged returns from applying technical-performance standards to security screening.
Conference Dates
April 12-13, 2017
Conference Location
Conference Title
the Symposium on the Technologies and Metrology of Checkpoint Screening Equipment


technical performance standards, security screening systems, x rays, homeland security, radiation inspection


Hudson, L. (2018), The Case for Technical-Performance Standards for Radiation Inspection Systems, the Symposium on the Technologies and Metrology of Checkpoint Screening Equipment, toronto, -1, [online], (Accessed June 20, 2024)


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Created January 1, 2018, Updated November 10, 2018