"Improvised explosive devices (IED) pose a great danger to the bomb technicians charged with disarming them. To counter this threat, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate's (S&T) First Responders Group (FRG) is developing and testing equally sophisticated diagnostic tools so responders can quickly determine whether suspicious objects contain explosives without putting their own (and bystanders') lives at risk. Technicians currently use a range of commercially-available x-ray scanners, but most have drawbacks that hinder a swift and safe response. For instance, mobile scanners are typically mounted on trucks--not suitable for indoor use, tight spaces or between parked vehicles. They are also very expensive and do not offer remote operation. On the other hand, portable scanners mounted on robots are easier to maneuver but they offer a small imaging area that makes it hard to effectively scan larger objects. These scanners are also not equipped for multi-view or 3-D imaging that is needed to see through any clutter. Finally, handheld scanning systems require repositioning and rescanning of objects to stitch together images for a clearer picture--a tedious and time-consuming process that does not lend itself to scanning large numbers of packages left at response scenes."
U.S. Department of Homeland Security: https://www.dhs.gov/