Airport security to improve with hyperspectral X-ray camera

Share this on social media:

Scientists at The University of Manchester have developed a 3D colour X-ray camera that could radically improve security screening at airports or diagnose medical conditions more accurately.

The camera can take powerful three dimensional colour X-ray images, in near real-time, without the need for a synchrotron X-ray source.

The X-Ray system developed by Professor Robert Cernik and colleagues from The School of Materials can identify chemicals and compounds such as cocaine, semtex, precious metals or radioactive materials even when they’re contained inside a relatively large object like a suitcase.

The method could also be extended to detect strain in fabricated components, for example in aircraft wings, and it can be used to image corrosion processes and chemical changes.

In healthcare, the system can be used to detect abnormal tissue types from biopsy samples. In geophysical exploration it could be used to analyse the content of core samples taken from bore holes.

The camera sensor, made from cadmium zinc telluride, has an 80 x 80 pixel resolution that supports real-time hyperspectral X-ray imaging up to very high energies. The information from the camera can be used to fingerprint the material present at each point in a 3D image.

The camera takes several minutes to scan an object, which is quicker than building up lots of separate images (mapping). This has implications for using the X-ray system for medical purposes. Professor Cernik commented: ‘The fact the image can be taken at the same time as using more conventional methods and on the same timescale means more information can be gathered from biopsy samples. This will more accurately differentiate between normal and abnormal tissue types reducing mis-diagnosis.’

Recent News

16 December 2020

Recycleye’s vision system is capable of detecting and classifying items in waste streams, broken down by material, object and brand

10 December 2020

The sensor is based on a thin-film photodetector monolithically integrated on a custom Si-CMOS readout circuit

03 September 2020

Terahertz imaging company, Tihive, has been awarded €8.6m from the European Innovation Council's Accelerator programme to scale up its industrial inspection technology

19 May 2020

The National Institute of Standards and Technology and ASTM Committee E57 have released proceedings on a workshop to define the performance of 3D imaging systems for robots in manufacturing