Next Generation Containerized Cargo Inspection System Program Moves Forward Under Existing ID/IQ
(BILLERICA, Mass., Jan. 31, 2007) -- American Science and Engineering, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASEI) (AS&E(R)), a leader in X-ray detection technology, announced today that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) has released $8.6 million in incremental funding to continue development for the CAARS Program (Cargo Advanced Automated Radiography System). Under the contract, AS&E with its partner, Passport Systems, Inc., will deliver a next-generation cargo inspection system designed to automatically detect shielded nuclear threats at the nation's points of entry. As previously announced, the two-year ID/IQ development phase of the contract is valued at $28.8 million. AS&E was awarded initial funding in September of 2006 at $4.3 million; this latest award brings CAARS funding to $12.9 million.
"The CAARS team is producing solid results to bring this advanced concept to fruition," said Anthony R. Fabiano, President and CEO of AS&E. "The $8.6 million will fund the next steps for research and development to deliver the best solution to secure our ports and borders from shielded nuclear threats. We look forward to our continued work with DNDO on this very significant project for Homeland Security."
After a highly competitive procurement process, DNDO selected AS&E, who with its partner, Passport Systems, Inc., adopted an advanced system concept that combines high-energy X-ray radiography with a unique 3-D X-ray interrogation technique. The system will combine 9 MeV transmission imaging radiography with automatic identification of high atomic number materials such as tungsten, lead, uranium, or plutonium. The system will be dual-use, in that it will meet both the needs of DNDO in detecting nuclear materials, as well as the traditional needs of U.S. Customs and Border Protection in detecting contraband such as illegal drugs.