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  • Writer's pictureTom Mueller

PenBlog – Marek Helm of GScan

Updated: Sep 23, 2023

Recently I had a fascinating Pencast conversation with Marek Helm, the CEO of GScan. The full conversation is available here:

GScan is an Estonia-based producer of vehicle and cargo scanning technology that employs cutting-edge developments in atmospheric ray tomography. Data provided by muons, electrons, positrons and neutrons that pass through objects, after being processed by AI and machine learning, allows the non-intrusive identification of cargo contents.

GScan was recently named the winner of the PEN-CP Innovation Award for its breakthrough technology and applications.

This post summarizes some of the key points covered in the Pencast.


  • Marek's background in customs and taxation

  • How GScan was created

How GScan's muon technology compares to conventional x-ray scanning and tomography:

  • The chemical composition of bananas and cocaine.

  • The Estonian government has engaged GScan to model cleanup of a former Soviet nuclear submarine.

Infrastructure projects for GScan, including:

  • The Italian government is trying to scan their reinforced concrete bridges.

  • Reassess major infrastructure projects in the US

GScan technology and ongoing collaborations:

  • GScan detector panels are scalable, like Lego blocks

  • The SilentBorder project

  • The company expects to be performing large containers by 2025

  • Collaboration with the prison authorities

The accuracy of the technology:

  • Cocaine and bananas have the same density, so hard to detect with conventional scanning technology

  • But muon scanning allows the detection of the chemical composition, not just the shape/density, so is effective in detecting cocaine hidden in banana shipments

  • How GScan uses machine learning and AI

The GScan community:

  • Regular interactions with universities and scientific research centres.

  • Customs is an international family, that crosses borders and cuts through national divisions.

Next steps for GScan:

  • The importance of computer processing power.

  • Finding the right balance between facts and technology.

  • The future of customs innovation is here.

Selected slides on GScan technology and activities:

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