Since 1994, SAIC has provided hundreds of VACIS
systems in fixed and mobile configurations to military forces, customs agencies and other security organizations around the world," said Alex Preston, SAIC senior vice president and business unit general manager.
The SAIC-developed VACIS system uses a gamma-ray imaging system to produce radiographic images that may be transmitted or stored.
VACIS technology is also being applied to the problem of maritime domain awareness--identifying vessels and monitoring those with suspicious cargoes, behavior or ownership.
49) Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), "Mobile VACIS Inspection System," at http:// www.
html, and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), "Safety & Security: VACIS
Cargo, Vehicle, and Contraband Inspection Systems," at http://www.
New Orleans received its first mobile VACIS unit in December 2000 and a second one ill June of this year.
Those with a lower risk profile are unloaded as normal, but Customs officials are on shore waiting with a VACIS machine to inspect the cargo the instant it is unloaded.
Customs officials will then bring in the VACIS to scan the whole container.
Each VACIS machine resembles a large mechanical arm that fits around the container and transmits a complete scan, which is then transmitted to a computer, where customs officials can manipulate and analyze the image.
While its speed offers a major benefit (it scans containers at a rate of one per minute), what makes the VACIS a vast improvement over existing technology is its mobility, says Michael Bahls, a marine superintendent who operates the machine for Canada Customs.
CBP has also deployed a rail VACIS
system to screen railcars.
can be deployed in a stationary or mobile configuration depending on the needs of the port.