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May 2009 \\ Next article \\ Back to current issue index

An image of a truck that was X-rayed by the ZBV

An image of a truck that was X-rayed by the ZBV

In an age where the detection of explosives, weapons or even nuclear devices is paramount across the security environment, one company offers several lines of x-ray systems for critical security applications to combat terrorism, drug and weapon smuggling, trade fraud and illegal immigration.

American Science and Engineering Inc (AS&E®) is the leading worldwide supplier of innovative X-ray inspection and screening systems. With over 50 years experience in developing advanced X-ray security systems; the company’s product line utilises a variety of technologies including:

  • Patented Z Backscatter™
  • Forwardscatter®
  • Shaped Energy®; and
  • Radioactive Threat Detection (RTD).

These technologies detect a range of threats including explosives, liquid, weapons, illegal drugs and other contraband, dirty bombs and nuclear devices.

AS&E’s complete range of products includes:

  • cargo inspection systems for port and border security;
  • baggage screening systems for facility and aviation security; and
  • personnel and passenger screening systems.

Their customers include the U.S Department of Homeland Security, U.S Department of Defense, U.S Customs and Border Protection, Abu Dhabi Customs, HM Revenue & Customs, Hong Kong Customs, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

In May 2003, the Z Backscatter Van™ (ZBV) was introduced utilising AS&E’s patented Z Backscatter technology. Since its introduction, the ZBV has become the number one selling non-intrusive mobile inspection system on the market with over 400 systems deployed around the world. The ZBV is low cost, highly mobile built into commercially available delivery vans. The system allows for immediate deployment in response to security threats.

One of the unique features is the “drive by” capability which allows for one or two operators to conduct X-ray imaging while the ZBV drives past suspect vehicles and objects. A remote console is also available for operating the system in stationary mode from a distance of up to 500 metres.

In 2009, AS&E announced the first sales of the ZBV Military Trailers™ (ZBV Mil Trailer) – a ruggedized version of the ZBV. The ZBV Mil Trailer will be deployed by the U.S Government for counterterrorism applications in harsh environments.

Like the conventional ZBV, this system is ideal for screening vehicles for car and truck bombs and is easily relocatable in mission-critical areas.

“I am very pleased to announce this milestone order from the U.S Government for the ZBV Military Trailer,” said Anthony Fabiano, AS&E President and CEO. “This order reinforces the continued value the U.S Government places on our proprietary Z Backscatter technology to secure checkpoints and borders from vehicle-borne explosives and other high-risk contraband.”

The ZBV Mil Trailer is simply towed past the subjects or by remaining stationary while the vehicles drive past the trailer.

For more information about the ZBV and ZBV Mil Trailer visit or contact the Australian supplier – Gadi Bichler, Point Trading Group on (03) 9934 9934, email or visit

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