Multibeam X-ray SourcesXinRay’s CNT-based multibeam X-ray source technology fundamentally changes the way X-ray radiation is generated and utilized. Potential customers have sought out XinRay because they understand the exciting promise of XinRay’s technology and are eager to use it. This technology “will revolutionize the CT industry” (according to Dr. George Zarur, Science Advisor, for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in a 2009 article in the journal Nature).
Usage and Drawbacks of Conventional X-Ray Systems.X-rays are used in a wide range of security, medical, and industrial applications. The most familiar medical X-ray applications are CAT scans for three dimensional (3-D) imaging, diagnostic imaging, and fluoroscopy. Other medical applications include image-guided procedures and radiation treatment of cancer. Another major use of X-rays is for airport and border security for detection of contraband and explosives. X-rays also have many industrial uses such as inspecting welding joints or detecting hidden fractures. Conventional X-ray systems for 3-D imaging rotate a single-beam X-ray tube around the object being examined to generate hundreds of two dimensional (2-D) images which are reconstructed into 3-D images. The fast rotation of the heavy gantry holding the X-ray tube creates significant wear and tear, resulting in high maintenance costs and frequent, unplanned downtime. Rotation also limits scanning speed and capacity and blurs the images, resulting in “image artifacts” that cause false alarms and delays, which sometimes result in highly emotional reactions. In high volume airport security screening, false alarm rates run up to 30%, necessitating additional inspections that cost over $ 1 billion annually according to the TSA.
XinRay’s CNT Based SolutionXinRay is developing improved X-ray tubes based on carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Small CNT emitters replace the heated tungsten filament (thermionic emitter) used in traditional tubes and emit electrons very efficiently without heat, enabling hundreds of closely-spaced X-ray beams to be placed in a single tube. Unlike traditional filaments, CNT emitters can be turned on and off very precisely in microseconds. XinRay's tubes emit X-ray beams from multiple positions without physical movement (i.e., a non-rotating gantry or stationary CT). XinRay uses a state-of-the-art electronic control system to rapidly fire the CNT emitters in sequence, producing multiple X-ray beams that quickly image the object. With no rotation-induced blurring and a much faster acquisition speed, the resulting 2D image has much better resolution than conventional CT X-ray systems. Reconstruction algorithms convert this image data into high resolution 3-D images
Advantages of CNT Multibeam SourcesThe absence of motion or blurring means higher image resolution and dramatically fewer image artifacts and false alarms, which significantly reduces the costs and emotional impacts of escalation. A stationary system without moving parts will greatly reduce the unplanned breakdowns and high maintenance costs common with existing systems, thereby increasing system availability and reducing total costs. The stationary multibeam source delivers a much faster acquisition than conventional systems, which should result in at least a threefold increase in throughput. Faster acquisition combined with no downtime, attributable to wear and tear, reduces the number of systems required. The shape of the X-ray tube (or an array of tubes) can be highly customized to fit the objects being examined. This results in a more compact and application-optimized system. These advantages will facilitate system designs and modes of operation not possible with today’s solutions, which will lead to a new generation of high performance systems. XinRay is on the forefront of these advancements.