Area Control ™ © News
News out of the normal In The News
Login Welcome to Area Control ™ © News
Saturday, December 16 2017 @ 12:40 PM CST

2014/09/24 Neutron Vision: Going Beyond X-Rays for Advanced Imaging in the Field

 

Seeking to expand the nation’s capability to detect and identify materials that are not easily visualized by conventional imaging technologies, DARPA today released an announcement inviting proposals to develop portable, next-generation imaging tools that combine the complementary benefits of X-ray and neutron radiography.


DARPA program seeks highly portable neutron sources to complement X-ray capabilities 

Seeking to expand the nation’s capability to detect and identify materials that are not easily visualized by conventional imaging technologies, DARPA today released an announcement inviting proposals to develop portable, next-generation imaging tools that combine the complementary benefits of X-ray and neutron radiography.

X-Ray imaging has proven invaluable in a host of military and commercial applications—from spotting tiny cracks in aircraft wings, to making medical diagnoses, to scanning passengers’ bags to keep the flying public safe. As useful as X-ray scanning is, however, it is limited in what it detects. For example, while X-ray radiography can highlight heavier chemical elements very well (think of shiny silver fillings on a dental X-ray), it’s not very good at revealing lighter elements, such as hydrogen. That’s why X-ray radiography machines are generally “blind” to water or other liquids.

By contrast, neutron radiography—which uses neutrons to image objects—is very good at visualizing lighter elements and liquids, in some cases even identifying a substance’s atomic makeup. Unfortunately, neutron sources are not nearly as portable and practical as X-ray machines, typically extending up to tens of meters in length and requiring powerful energy sources to generate the neutrons.

DARPA’s new Intense and Compact Neutron Sources (ICONS) program seeks to develop a portable unit able to generate both neutrons and X-rays. Such a device would harness the complementary strengths of the two imaging sources and enable much more detailed radiography in field settings.

“We’re looking for innovative designs and construction methods to shrink a neutron accelerator from 10 meters or longer down to 1 meter or less, similar to the size of portable X-ray tubes today,” said Vincent Tang, DARPA program manager. “Creating a high-yield, directional neutron source in a very compact package is a significant challenge,” Tang added. “But a successful ICONS program would provide an imaging tool with significant national security applications, able to deliver very detailed, accurate internal imaging of objects in any setting.”

For example, Tang said, ICONS could enable non-destructive evaluation of military equipment with greater fidelity than X-rays, revealing water penetration and corrosion in aircraft wings and welds on ships. Neutron imaging could also help detect explosives and contraband by identifying the chemical and atomic make-up of an object or its contents. And it could assist in forensics and attribution, such as differentiating sources of  ammunition through imaging of the propellant fill levels.

The ICONS program seeks expertise in accelerator and plasma science, high-voltage engineering, enabling multi-function materials, integrated design optimization, and pulsed power. The Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) solicitation was released today and is available on FedBizOpps here: http://go.usa.gov/dWJw 

Images

Pictured above is an example of neutron imaging provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) with the following explanation (click high-resolution link to see full image): A digital camera took an overhead picture of the open cask (left) and a neutron imaging system photographed the lilies through the lead walls of the cask (right). This image demonstrates the power of neutrons to easily pass through otherwise impenetrable materials, such as the lead cask, and yet have enough sensitivity to reveal fine details such as the leaf veins of the Asiatic lilies. The neutron image has been sharpened slightly to improve black-and-white contrast for viewing on the web. (NIST Photo/caption) 

Click for High-Resolution Image
Pictured above is an example of neutron imaging provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) with the following explanation (click high-resolution link to see full image): A digital camera took an overhead picture of the open cask (left) and a neutron imaging system photographed the lilies through the lead walls of the cask (right). This image demonstrates the power of neutrons to easily pass through otherwise "impenetrable" materials, such as the lead cask, and yet have enough sensitivity to reveal fine details such as the leaf veins of the Asiatic lilies. The neutron image has been sharpened slightly to improve black-and-white contrast for viewing on the web. (NIST Photo/caption)

Trackback

Trackback URL for this entry: http://areacontrol.com/trackback.php/20140927110307652Beyond-X-Rays

No trackback comments for this entry.

0 comments

Navigation

Joe Leonard photographer

 
 
 
 
 

My Account






Lost your password?

What's New

Stories

No new stories

Comments last 2 days

No new comments

Trackbacks last 2 days

No new trackbacks

Links last 2 weeks

No new links

Auto Translations

  • Arabic
  • Bulgarian
  • Catalan
  • Chinese Simplified
  • Chinese Traditional
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • Filipino
  • Finnish
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Latvian
  • Lithuanian
  • Norwegian
  • Polish
  • Portugese
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Serbian
  • Slovak
  • Slovenian
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Ukrainian
  • Vietnamese

Relevant

Random Product

Guy Hottel was a Special Agent

Memo he sent to the Director concerning UFOs

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events

Who's Online

Guest Users: 8