Rapiscan Systems

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Rapiscan X-ray backscatter scanner
Advanced Technology (AT) X-ray systems for baggage scanning

Rapiscan Systems is an American privately held company that specializes in walk-through metal detectors, and x-ray machines for airport luggage and cargo screening. The company is owned by OSI Systems.[1]

The company headquarters is in Torrance, California, USA which is the primary location for research and development, engineering, manufacturing, sales and marketing, and customer service support. The European headquarters, and location of Rapiscan Systems Limited, is at Salfords in Surrey close to Gatwick Airport in England. The primary centre for development and distribution of x-ray systems for hold baggage screening is at Salfords. In Espoo, Finland, Rapiscan Systems designs and manufactures its Metor Metal Detectors, used in people screening applications.

Rapiscan also has significant research and development, distribution, support and manufacturing facilities in Melbourne in Australia, Singapore, Sunnyvale, California in the USA, Johor Bahru in Malaysia, Ocean Springs, Mississippi in the USA and Hyderabad in India.[2]

The company is certified to ISO 9001:2008 Quality Standard [3]


Rapiscan was formed in the United Kingdom in 1972, as the Security Products Division of International Aeradio Limited (IAL).[4] This company then acquired metal detector manufacturer Adams Electronics in 1984. Two years later Rapiscan's X-Ray Division and Adams Electronics were combined as IAL Security Products, located in Crawley, West Sussex. In 1993 Opto Sensors, Inc. in the United States formed Rapiscan Security Products, Inc., which then acquired Rapiscan in the UK. Opto Sensors, Inc. became OSI Systems.

Rapiscan Metor walk-through metal detectors stems originally from Outokumpu, which was one of the first companies to develop walk through metal detectors for security screening. The systems were originally adapted from metal detectors used in the mining industry to locate parts of broken drill bits in minerals on a conveyor belt.[5] The Metor company was spun off from Outokumpu and later acquired by Rapiscan.

As of 2008, the company had installed in excess of 50,000 security and inspection systems globally and in April 2008, Rapiscan Systems UK won the Queen's Award for International Trade in recognition of its growth over the previous three years, tripling its revenue during 2005-2007.[6]

Rapiscan manufactures a controversial Backscatter X-ray system for screening airport passengers, the Rapiscan Secure 1000.[7][8] On 23 September 1998, the device's inventor, Steven Smith, assuaged the concerns of radiation security experts dubious about the possible risk posed by the device, saying "The places I think you are not going to see these in the next five years is lower-security facilities, particularly power plants, embassies, courthouses, airports, and governments...I would be extremely surprised in the next five to 10 years if the Secure 1000 is sold to any of these."[9]

The company have developed a fast 3D X-ray CT scanner for hold luggage the RTT80. The company announced in 2008 that it would undergo tests in Manchester Airport[10][11] and that it would shortly undergo testing by the TSA. The system was originally developed by CXR Ltd in Surrey and the EPSRC funded a grant for the School of Mathematics, University of Manchester to work on the reconstruction problem for Rapiscan.[12] The RTT80 has an 80 cm diameter capacity and the company has announced an intention to develop an RTT120 with a 1.2m aperture.[11]

With the University of Manchester and Manchester Airport has a research project, EMBody, for the development of the "next generation walk-by metal detector".[13] Rapiscan with the University of Manchester and the Mines Advisory Group have a project initiated by Sir Bobby Charlton on civilian land mine clearance.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "OSI Systems security unit gets two contracts totalling $16 million". r Thomson Financial News. 2008-06-16. Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  2. ^ "Our company". Rapiscan Systems. Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  3. ^ "ISO 9001 certificate" (PDF). Rapiscan Systems. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  4. ^ "Rapsican Systems" (PDF). Corporate Backgrounder. November 2001. Retrieved 2008-06-29. [dead link]
  5. ^ Jarvi, A., Leinonen, E., Thompson, M., Valkonen, K., Designing Modern Walk-Through Metal Detectors, ASTM Digital Library / STP / STP1127-EB / STP15320S, January 1992, doi:10.1520/STP15320S
  6. ^ "Rapiscan Systems Wins Prestigious Queen's Award, Recognition of Company's Continued...". Thomson Reuters. 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  7. ^ "Backscatter/Rapiscan Secure 1000". Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  8. ^ Steven W. Smith / Original Developer of Secure 1000
  9. ^ U.S. Government Glossed Over Cancer Concerns As It Rolled Out Airport X-Ray Scanner, ProPublica, 1 November 2011 
  10. ^ "Rapiscan's stationary 3D baggage screener to undergo testing by TSA". Retrieved 2009-01-25. [dead link]
  11. ^ a b "Rapiscan Systems Receives Contract for Solid-State CT Systems for High-Speed Hold Baggage Screening". Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  12. ^ "Maths provides answer to airport security puzzle". Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  13. ^ "EMBody - Next generation electromagnetic walk by body scanners". Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  14. ^ "Bobby_Charlton_launches_anti-landmine_campaign". Retrieved 2009-01-25. 

External links[edit]