DHS contract extensions awarded for airport checkpoint and CT baggage scanner


Australian hi-tech company Micro-X Ltd (ASX:MX1) (Micro-X or the Company) has been awarded an extension on its development contract with the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate for the Miniature Baggage Scanner. DHS has also exercised an existing contractual option to continue the Passenger Self-Screening Checkpoint design into a detailed prototype design phase. 

Key Points

  • DHS contract extension to add a second Micro-X prototype Miniature CT Baggage Scanner
  • Delivery of an additional prototype in early 2023 for additional US$0.44 million contract payment on top of the existing US$1.57 million contract.
  • Second functioning prototype used by DHS to accelerate testing and data collection of Baggage Scanner
  • Data collection will provide key input in development of automated detection algorithms.
  • DHS formally exercises option for second phase of Self-Screening Checkpoint design – US$1.18 million to Micro-X Inc. for work to be delivered over 8 months starting September 30, 2022

Micro-X, Inc. has this week signed a contract extension with the US Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate as part of its miniaturised Computed Tomography baggage scanner development work.  This extension for an additional US$0.44 million is for the delivery of a second functioning prototype in early 2023, while the DHS is undertaking testing of the first prototype. The additional prototype brings the combined total of two DHS contracts for Miniature Baggage Scanners and a Passenger Self-Screening Checkpoint to US$4.5m.

The two Miniature Baggage Scanner prototypes will be constructed to the same standard, with each being tested for their ability to detect a potential threat, in a series of tests occurring in US government laboratories.  The exercise of this contract extension of an additional prototype followed the most recent of the regular project meetings between Micro-X management and key technical and operational representatives of the DHS.  It is intended that two prototypes will enable faster and more thorough testing of the unique and disruptive Micro-X design.

In July 2022, Micro-X, Inc. and DHS formally executed the optional second phase of the Passenger Self-Screening Checkpoint contract, for work which includes the detailed design of a prototype self-screening module. The original Self-Screening contract for US$2.5 million was divided into an initial funded one-year concept design phase valued at US$1.31 million and second optional unfunded phase of US$1.18 million for an additional 8 months. DHS has now committed to funding the second phase. In this phase, Micro-X will continue to work with its existing subcontractors including Monash University, Elenium Automation, and Voxel Radar and will continue to work closely with DHS Transportation Security Administration (TSA) stakeholders.

The second phase was conditional on Micro-X developing a realistic and achievable design concept, and the demonstration of sufficient advancement and capability of the key enabling technologies, being the miniaturized baggage scanner and the real-time mm-wave scanner. Micro-X’s initial concept design was accepted by DHS in June 2022 and Micro-X has since been demonstrating and refining this concept with a series of full-size mock-ups to demonstrate the workflow and useability of the design.

Dr Brian Gonzales, Micro-X Inc. CEO & General Manager of the Checkpoints Business Unit, commented:

“The close working relationship we have built with the DHS is testament to our technological advances and focus on the passenger and the operators’ checkpoint screening. We are very pleased with DHS adding a second prototype and exercising the option to design a prototype self-screening module. This is a strong indication of the success of the projects to-date, and it is our goal to continue building on this success toward our vision of building a passenger focussed checkpoint, based on our unique x-ray technology.”

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