Major European Airport Integrates HTS' AirCargo Identification Technology

Hi-Tech Solutions Ltd. (HTS), a developer and provider of optical character recognition (OCR) and computer vision systems, has developed a new patent pending technology that reads ULD (Unit Load Devices) container numbers for air cargo.

Company CEO Philip Elovic said: "The explosives identified on cargo airplanes from Yemen to Chicago reinforce the necessity of implementing ULD (Unit Load Devices) Identification, screening and tracking regulation for Air Cargo."

The ULD OCR system was recently developed to stretch existing recognition technology to handle the special challenges for identification of air cargo and was recently incorporated into a system developed and implemented at a major European Airport. The system is coupled to scanning technologies, such as X-ray and radiation detection.

The complete system scans for radiation, X-rays the cargo, reads the ULD container numbers, records them and matches them to a manifest as they pass through the system portal. The ULD Portals can be placed at strategic points in the airport in order to monitor all cargo and passenger luggage being loaded onto planes.

"The incident of the two mail bombs posted from Yemen to Chicago synagogues emphasizes the real necessity to enforce the already existing regulation for ULD scanning and tracking in airports" said Elovic. "Marine cargo is already scanned and tracked in a large number of marine ports worldwide. Hundreds of thousands of cargo containers are identified by HTS's system. Air cargo can and should be handled by a similar type system."

The air cargo system today is vulnerable to several security threats including:

  • potential plots to place explosives aboard aircraft;
  • Illegal shipments of hazardous materials;
  • criminal activities such as smuggling and theft; and
  • potential hijackings and sabotage by persons with access to aircraft.

According to forecasts, there is a large, growing, global air freight problem, as air cargo is expected to grow significantly, and triple in 20 years.

HTS's system, called SeeULD, is a PC-based container terminal gate processing system, suited for recognition and recording of ULD container numbers. Each ULD is identified with a unique code, using a systematic scheme from the International Air Transport Association the (IATA).

The system includes both hardware and software. In the future, it will have optional supports for damage inspection image.

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