The global handheld backscatter x-ray devices market size was valued at USD 51.66 million in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 87.28 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 6.00% during the forecast period (2022-2030). Compact, single-sided x-ray imagers like the Mini-Z handheld backscatter X-ray device can be used to scan objects in challenging-to-access places. Due to its modest size, it may be used to effectively screen a range of things, including suspected packages and bags, walls, furniture, small boats, planes, tires, and automobile interiors. The Mini-Z backscatter X-ray system is ideal for public safety, customs and border police, and security personnel since it effectively detects organic threats, contraband, and explosives. The Compton effect produces dispersed radiation, which is used in X-ray backscatter technology (XBT). For backscatter imaging, the object is illuminated with a pencil beam that has a specified direction, and all of the backscattered radiation is collected using large area detectors.
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Growing Need for Easy-To-Use and Highly Efficient Scanning Systems
The advantages of being simple to lift and place in remote locations have been considered. A high-resolution touchscreen with a display makes inspection easier and quicker. Other technologies that significantly support sharing and communication include Wi-Fi and cable connectivity. These technologies enable users to communicate the specifics of their inspections easily. The ease of use was the main factor in public safety, customs, border enforcement, and security personnel choosing to deploy the backscatter X-ray system as a handheld detection device for organic hazards, contraband, and explosives.
Over 14 million vehicles and 23 million people use one of the 26 inspection lanes each year to enter the country. Therefore, these devices need to be built for extended use. To securely scan such a vast number of automobiles, it is crucial to deploy effective and user-friendly technology, such as handheld X-ray backscatter machines. The current options support touchscreens, real-time image display (fraction of a second), faster in-scan speed, lightweight (4-5 kg), and sizeable devices.
Need for Ergonomically Designed Equipment and High Cost
Due to unique and distinctive advantages and a consolidated market, the equipment cost is much greater. The technology is young, and there are fewer vendors. In recent years, applications for the same have grown in popularity and use. For instance, American Science and Engineering charge roughly USD 49,000 for its Mini Z Handheld Backscatter X-Ray Imaging System. The power input becomes limited while using the gadget to scan larger areas. This is because 5W and 10W power sources are readily available, which warms up the apparatus. Therefore, a greater energy input in smaller or equal dimensions is needed.
Miniaturization is anticipated to lower the internal components further and minimize the device's size and weight. The development of better and smaller lenses, smaller X-ray tubes, and newer display technologies should be prioritized, along with ergonomic designs. The gadget's weight can be reduced by 10-15% because of advances in solid and lightweight materials. The Nighthawk HBI XP handheld backscatter X-ray gadget from Viken Detection was just released, and it has a more excellent detection range thanks to its Broadwing-LAD adapter. The company discovered that its utilization had been significantly constrained by the requirement to scan the lower part of the vehicle.
X-Ray Technological Advancements
Implementing security screening systems in various areas might be more straightforward due to advancements in X-ray screening equipment. Additionally, a range of technologies, such as normal X-ray, dual-energy, backscatter, and CT, are used by X-ray imaging systems. Airport luggage screening initially employed 2D X-ray equipment. However, X-ray machines showing a 3D image of luggage have recently been developed. These technologies offer greater and clearer information about the bag's contents by allowing viewers or operators to zoom in and rotate the bag for a 360 view. In the single-view X-ray transmission mode, the X-ray beam passes through objects and detectors positioned across from the shaft. These factors are anticipated to create tremendous opportunities for the global market.
The global handheld backscatter x-ray devices market is segmented by end-user.
Based on end-user, the global handheld backscatter x-ray devices market is bifurcated into customs and border protection, law enforcement, critical infrastructure, military and defense, and others.
The customs and border protection segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.20% over the forecast period. Customs and border protection (CBP) agencies frequently use handheld backscatter X-ray machines. The North American region has created advanced backscatter technology deployments suited to the application because of the scale of the criminal operations. The United States CBP reports that throughout the 2019 fiscal year, 1,148,024 enforcement actions were held by the organization. About USD 93.3 million was confiscated from the borders in FY 2020, up from USD 68.879 million the year before. Globally, there are more instances of illicit trade in items like cash, drugs, explosives, weapons, ammunition, and specimens of threatened species.
Law enforcement is vital in enacting laws that successfully maintain public order and punish crime if a group or culture does not follow the rules and laws. Police must constantly verify and inspect various items that individuals handle, including weapons, drugs, and explosives concealed in bags or behind non-metallic surfaces. Numerous law enforcement officers are killed when they become victims of crimes due to their work as investigators or law enforcement officials. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that 89 law enforcement personnel lost their lives in line-of-duty accidents in 2019. Forty-eight of these officers lost their lives due to criminal activity, and 44 of the 48 victim cops were killed by criminals using firearms, including handguns, rifles, and shotguns.
Law enforcement authorities adopted several reactive and proactive initiatives to lower gun violence in the US in April 2020. Policies such as bans on assault weapons with high-capacity magazines and universal background checks, extreme risk protection orders, concealed-carry laws, waiting periods, child-access prevention (CAP) laws, minimum age requirements, prohibitions relating to domestic violence, and licensing and permitting requirements were investigated in order to strengthen the current laws or pass new regulations that could prevent violent crimes committed with firearms. Therefore, all of these regulations could broaden the application of backscatter technology.
The global handheld backscatter x-ray devices market is bifurcated into four regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
North America Dominates the Global Market
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North America is the most significant shareholder in the global handheld backscatter x-ray devices market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.15% during the forecast period. Most of the market's manufacturers, including Rapiscan and Viken Detection, are located in this area, which accounts for the largest market share. These businesses have created exclusive techniques for creating portable backscatter X-ray devices. Significant users/adopters of this technology include law enforcement and cross-border protection. The rising propensity for adoption in the area has spurred a rise in vendor activity. For instance, Viken announced its VALOR project in June 2020, which provided local, underfunded police agencies with refurbished HBI-120 portable X-ray imagers for free or at a reduced cost. The business seeks to lessen/combat the initial problems that local police have while responding to opioids.
Asia-Pacific is anticipated to develop at a CAGR of 6.70%, generating USD 19.28 million during the projection period. Handheld backscatter x-ray devices are used throughout military training to help the participants find SALW and its parts. Additionally, recent military drills in the area provide a ready market for handheld devices. IED and weapon detection are essential factors in reducing terrorist attacks, as finding buried landmines is a challenge for the forces of many Asian countries. Despite advances in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, South Asia was the most affected region by terrorism in 2019. The area also faces a variety of hazards, including the trafficking of medicinal medicines, illegal tobacco, heroin, amphetamines, and other narcotics, as well as various customs offenses. Overall, it is projected that the Asia-Pacific area will offer significant prospects for local vendors.
For handheld backscatter X-ray machines, Europe, which includes nations like the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Spain, is a sizable market. The adoption by law enforcement primarily creates opportunities for market vendors because drug smuggling is prevalent in the area. Few businesses operating in Europe also enjoy a competitive advantage due to being first to market. For instance, the Rapiscan MINI Z system is a leader in handheld Z Backscatter imaging technology for identifying organic dangers and illegal substances. Additionally, because of its portable design, it may be used by customs agents and law enforcement personnel to scan vehicles, walls, furniture, car interiors, and other objects for explosives, drugs, and cash.
LAMEA is anticipated to grow steadily during the forecast period. Allied sectors are using backscatter imagery due to the region's thriving oil refineries, which are protected across Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Iran. According to the Houthi rebels in Yemen, recent drone strikes in Saudi Arabia targeted important oil sites. It caused severe damage to the facilities that process most of the nation's petroleum output and might increase the risk to global oil supplies. The countries' operators have resorted to investing in advanced security systems due to such terrors. Additionally, the continent has secretly stockpiled weapons to fuel conflicts among its nations, from small-time crimes to insurrections and terrorist actions. The information gathered in the current research by the Small Guns Survey showed how illegal small arms and ammunition flow occurs, offering opportunities to stop the trade.