Australian Security and Intelligence Conference

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


secau Security Research Centre, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia


Originally published in the Proceedings of the 4th Australian Security and Intelligence Conference, Edith Cowan University, Perth Western Australia, 5th -7th December, 2011


This research examines the technological challenges posed by security imaging technologies for human visual analysis of images. Imaging technologies are increasing becoming part of an overall security strategy that incorporates a range of camera technologies, x-ray technologies, and other electromagnetic imaging such as millimetre wave and terahertz based systems. Still and video image types are increasingly becoming presented to viewers or screeners in forms that are only representative in nature and highly abstract, and the use of filters is increasing the complexity of interpretation. Despite a range of factors that are being looked at to enhance visual analysis, the contribution of individualised image processing skills is poorly understood and recognised. The paper explores examples of how an assessment exercise which examines visual analysis, ScanX, correlates against performance in four major studies set in different environments and using both x-ray and CCTV technologies. Correlations show strong relationships to performance despite the difference in image technology and environmental settings, as well as detection targets and criteria. Support for a set of core image analysis skills that can be used across a range of technologies by a common operator group is shown by the research. These skills appear to relate more to the nature of processing applicable to various forms of image rather than the image content itself.