Our Product

The next generation of non-intrusive inspection.

Discovery® – A Multi-Mode Passive Detection System enables the detection of security threats at both seaport and land border operations while facilitating the legitimate flow of commerce. Discovery® is the only existing technology capable of passively detecting shielded nuclear material, contraband, or anomalies in commerce.

The Discovery® Scanning System
Discovery® uses muon tomography, a revolutionary technology developed at Los Alamos National Lab. This technology detects muons and electrons—naturally occurring charged particles that constantly and safely pass through the atmosphere. Discovery® scanning translates this particle data into accurate, informative, 3D visualizations.
Drug surrogates hidden in bananas.
A Passive System - Safer and with greater uptime than X-ray
Discovery® emits no ionizing radiation. Unlike X-ray, Discovery® passively tracks natural particles, providing a safer work environment. Discovery® does not expose operators, drivers, law enforcement/k9 officers, or sensitive cargo to harmful radiation. Compared to X-ray, it can slash energy, and manpower costs. And, with no moving parts, Discovery® requires less maintenance.
Discovery® visualization penetrates all the shielding materials—water, ice, steel, lead, concrete—that block X-ray. With unlimited viewing angles, Discovery® creates 3D images in as little as 30 seconds.
Drug surrogates hidden in squash.

Discovery® Scanning System

  • 100% safe with no ionizing radiation
  • Totally passive system with no safety exclusion needed
  • Provides detection and material classification
  • 3D visualizations and image slicing
  • Low cost maintenance and no moving parts
  • Operationally available over 98% of the time
  • Can penetrate over 1,000 mm of steel and through lids

X-Ray/Gamma Imaging Systems

  • Produces harmful ionizing radiation
  • Requires safety exclusion zones
  • Limited material discrimination capability
  • Requires operators/visual interpretation of 2D images
  • High-cost maintenance and replacement parts
  • Operationally available less than 60% of the time
  • Unable to penetrate 400 mm of steel or through liquids

Our Technology Explained

Cosmic rays shatter in the Earth’s atmosphere and produce a naturally occurring flux of muons and electrons that rain onto earth 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Over 10,000 muons and electrons pass through your body every minute.
Discovery® detects particles with layers of aluminum drift tubes. Mounted above and below a vehicle support platform, the tube layers form a drive-through portal.
Particles first penetrate the top layer of tubes as Discovery® identifies their trajectories or tracks. As the particles interact with the cargo in the truck or container, their tracks change based on the atomic number/bulk density of the material. Passing through to the lower tube layer, Discovery® measures the changes in the scattering and stopping to create 3D images that reveal anomalies and voids.

Case Examples

Discovery’s® capabilities are unmatched by X-ray machines. Its 3D visualizations let the operator explore and inspect the cargo from any angle. They give the operator the actionable information needed to make informed decisions on the presence of threats, contraband, anomalies, and voids.
Voids in Steel Rolls
An actual Discovery® scan, displaying a 3D visualization of coiled steel rolls, is shown at the left. Smugglers hollowed out the rolls to hide drugs, while leaving enough steel on the rolls to defeat X-ray detection easily. Within 90 seconds of scanning, utilizing Discovery®, operators could unmistakably see voids within the steel—areas of such different densities, that the “solid” rolls appeared as empty spools. In this case, Discovery penetrated 24 inches of rolled steel.
Guns and Drugs - Hidden Inside Water
Over the years, smugglers have learned how to defeat X-ray machines used by customs and law enforcement agencies worldwide. X-ray is easily defeated by several inches of water or thin layers of shielding materials such as metals, stone, granite, marble, cement, water, ice, frozen goods, and produce. Knowing this, a smuggler can hide contraband within common cargo of all kinds. Discovery® safely penetrates through all known shielding materials and does so without the use of harmful radiation.
As seen below, bottled water served as a shield to hide contraband – a cache of rifles and a narcotics surrogate. Discovery® penetrated the water shielding to produce unmistakable images of the contraband.



Key Benefits


  • Zero ionizing radiation
  • Safe for people, animals, food
  • No exclusion zone needed


  • Adaptable to new threats and trends via data modeling
  • Additional functionality achieved with reoccurring software updates
  • A network of deployed systems enables the ability to share secure data between locations


  • High operational availability
  • Lower life cycle cost
  • No moving parts to break down or maintain


  • Penetration and classification capabilities surpass all competing technologies
  • 3D visualizations
  • Material discrimination 


  • Allows operators to analyze cargo all while continuing their standard operations
  • Designed for implementation as a Primary Screening Solution
  • Scan a higher % of cargo


How does Discovery® - A Multi-Mode Passive Detection System (MMPDS) work?

The Discovery® system uses a constant flux of naturally occurring muons and electrons, emanating from cosmic rays, to scan containers or other conveyances for threats or materials of interest. This is accomplished by measuring the scattering density and the stopping power of the muons and electrons as they pass through materials within the scan volume.
The Discovery® system uses this unique data provided by the particle interactions and processes it through multiple proprietary algorithms. Discovery® provides 3-dimensional (3D) visualizations that the operators can manipulate and use as an additional decision-making resource.

What is the difference between X-Ray/Gamma Imaging Systems and Discovery®?

Discovery® – A Multi-Mode Passive Detection System (MMPDS):
• 100% safe with no ionizing radiation
• A totally passive system with no safety exclusion needed
• Provides detection and material classification
• 3D visualizations and image slicing
• Low cost maintenance and no moving parts
• Operationally available over 98% of the time
• Can penetrate over 1,000 mm of steel and through liquids
X-ray / Gamma Radiation Systems:
• Produces harmful ionizing radiation
• Requires safety exclusion zone
• Limited material discrimination capability
• Requires operators’ visual interpretation of 2D image
• High cost maintenance and replacement parts
• Operationally available less than 80% of the time
• Unable to penetrate past 400 mm of steel or through liquids

What are the building specs for the Discovery® enclosure?

The Discovery® Environmental Enclosure (building) is the physical structure that contains and protects the Discovery® hardware and electronics. The specifications for the enclosure depend on the intended implementation and the configuration of the product purchased. This structure can be a freestanding building or an existing, retro-fitted building, or can be an “all-in-one” building that contains the detector as well as a computing room and control booth or room. Regardless of the configuration, the enclosure typically sits atop a single concrete pad with a concrete encased trench where the bottom Discovery® detector array is located.

What other space requirements are needed to run Discovery®?

A Computing Room and Control Room are needed.

The Computing Room is the space where the computing equipment providing computational and data storage systems are located. This can be a standalone structure or can be adjacent to, or part of, the Control Room. This building or room will contain all of the application servers, database servers, data storage and network equipment required to carry out software processing. It will have the appropriate power, communications and environmental conditioning systems necessary to support the computing operations of Discovery®.

The Control Room is where the system operator is located and where the image monitors and other Discovery® control systems are located. The system operator may be located either in the detector enclosure or in the Control Room. As previously stated, this could be its own structure or could be combined with the Physical Security Information Management/Command and Control (PSIM/C2) facilities if Discovery® has been installed in an existing, retrofitted building. The Control Room will contain all of the equipment necessary to control Discovery® and to conduct visual image analysis via high-resolution monitors and, like the Computing Room, will also contain the entire infrastructure necessary to carry out operations. The Control Room may also be used to allow site operators to control traffic flow and manage the site security in which case the size and specifications for the room will be adjusted.

Has Discovery® - A Multi-Mode Passive Detection System (MMPDS) been certified by any independent organization as 100% passive and safe for people to be around?

Yes. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) provided subject matter experts and appropriate radiation detection instruments to perform an on-site measurement of the ionizing radiation emissions, if any, from a Decision Sciences Discovery® – A Multi-Mode Passive Detection System (MMPDS). Discovery® has also been certified by the Atomic Energy Regulation Board (AERB), India as a completely passive system that only harnesses naturally occurring cosmic rays. These reports can be discussed in detail with customers on a one on one basis.

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