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ISARD: A Brief Overview

February 8, 2009
ISARD as used on 5 Euro note.

ISARD as used on 5 Euro note.

ISARD stands for Intaglio Scanning And Recognition Device.

ISARD is designed for banknote sorting machine recognition of intaglio printing.

ISARD was invented and refined by TNO, a Dutch research organization. ISARD was created by the TNO’s Institute of Applied Physics circa 1968,  at the request of the National Bank of the Netherlands. The first prototype banknote sorter using ISARD was built in 1971. The earliest public publication appears to have been in 1972.

ISARD appears (or has appeared) on the Euro, the Dutch Guilder and the French Franc – and almost certainly other banknotes.

A discussion of the principles and mechanics of ISARD is outside the scope of this article and this blog. For more information, please see the following:

1996 SPIE Presentation (PDF)

Design Methodology of Dutch Banknotes

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