Imager improves security screening

Scientists at Manchester University (Manchester, UK) have developed a hyperspectral x-ray camera based on an 80 x 80 pixel cadmium zinc telluride imager that could improve security screening at airports.

Imager improves security screening
Imager improves security screening

Scientists atManchester University (Manchester, UK) have developed a hyperspectral x-ray camera based on an 80 x 80 pixel cadmium zinc telluride imager that could improve security screening at airports.

X-ray tomography is used in medical diagnosis, explosives detection or to check structural integrity of complex engineered components. Conventional tomographic images are formed by measuring many transmitted x-rays and mathematically reconstructing an object from them. However, the structural and chemical information carried by scattered x-rays of different wavelengths is not used.

The new camera developed by Professor Robert Cernik and colleagues from The School of Materials, however, captures the scattered x-rays to deliver 3-D images with structural or chemical information in each voxel.

The researchers demonstrated the capability of the imaging system by using it to identify the different elements and components inside a USB dongle that controls webcams. The elements or components were highlighted in different colors to clearly identify them. In the image above, the x-ray showed bromine, barium, silver, tin and zirconium.

As well as providing more information about the object being x-rayed, the new technique also decreases the time it takes to create a 3-D image. Rather than building up lots of separate images, the new system creates the image in one scanning motion which only takes several minutes.

Professor Cernik is now seeking industrial partners to refine the x-ray technology for specific applications such as security, aerospace and medical imaging.

Related articles on hyperspectral imaging from Vision Systems Design.

1.Hyperspectral imaging system sorts seeds

A Swiss company has developed a hyperspectral imaging system that can transport, analyze and sort grains, seeds or beans at over 50 per second according to their biochemical composition and/or external traits such as color.

2.Mushroom quality detector uses infrared hyperspectral imaging

Researchers at the Dublin Institute of Technology and University College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland) have demonstrated that a hyperspectral imaging system could be used to evaluate the quality of mushrooms.

3.Hyperspectral imaging system sorts nonferrous materials

A team of Irish and Spanish researchers has developed a hyperspectral image processing system that could be used to sort nonferrousmetals.

-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor,Vision Systems Design

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