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NEMA Publishes Revised DICOS Standard for Airport Security

08/29/2012 9:00AMSign-up to receive press releases.

National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published NEMA IIC 1 v02 Digital Imaging and Communications in Security (DICOS) Information Object Definitions (IODs).

Known informally as DICOS v02, this revised standard maintains the extensible, interoperable data format that enables the integration of security screening technologies across multiple vendor platforms and facilitates wider participation in the development of improved security screening technologies and systems specified in its predecessor, DICOS v01. DICOS v02 now includes:

  • an additional screening technology, known as Advanced Imaging Technology or AIT, which is used to examine passengers at airports, and
  • a more complete definition of one type of Threat Detection Report (TDR), known as Operator.

“NEMA is proud of this newly revised standard as it is evidence of the continued success of joint efforts between manufacturers and the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate and its Transportation Security Administration to improve the safety of air travel,” said NEMA President and CEO Evan R. Gaddis.

DICOS v02 retains the features of its predecessor, including:

  • a data format for computed tomography (CT) images and x-ray radiographs that result from airport security examination of checked and carry-on baggage; and
  • a common format for threat detection reports that capture data resulting from the use of automated threat detection methods to evaluate checked and carry-on baggage.

DICOS is inspired by, and relies heavily on, elements of Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM), which is used in virtually all hospitals worldwide. DICOS continues to adapt DICOM as necessary to accommodate the unique needs of an airport security screening application. Both DICOM and DICOS permit images and data to be sent from, and viewed and received by, equipment of various types—similar to the interoperability of PDF (portable document format) images on a variety of personal computers.

DICOS was developed by NEMA’s Industrial Imaging and Communication Section in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate and Transportation Security Administration. DICOS serves as an ongoing, effective example of government-industry cooperation in standards development.


See DICOS v02 to view the contents and scope. A hard or electronic copy may be purchased for $215 by visiting global.ihs.com, or by contacting IHS at 800-854-7179 (U.S. only) or 303-397-7956 (international).

NEMA is the association of electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers, founded in 1926 and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Its member companies manufacture a diverse set of products including power transmission and distribution equipment, lighting systems, factory automation and control systems, and medical diagnostic imaging systems. Worldwide annual sales of NEMA-scope products exceed $120 billion.

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