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Proceedings Paper

Liquid metal anode x-ray tubes: interesting, but are they useful?
Author(s): Geoffrey Harding
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Paper Abstract

An analysis is presented of factors affecting the specific loadability (W mm-2 K-1) of electron impact liquid metal anode x-ray sources (LIMAX). It is shown that in general, the limit to loadability is set by energy deposited in the electron window by inelastic electron scattering. Removal of this energy through convection cooling by the liquid metal stream represents the least efficient thermal transport process in LIMAX. As the electron window energy loss is approximately inversely proportional to the electron beam energy, the power loadability of a LIMAX source operated under otherwise constant conditions scales roughly with the square of the tube voltage. A comparison of the loadability of the liquid metal anode x-ray concept to conventional stationary anode x-ray tubes demonstrates the superiority of the former. The utility of LIMAX-based computed tomography in the field of air cargo container inspection is briefly discussed. In particular its characteristics relative to linac-based air cargo container inspection are highlighted: these include a higher contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR); compact radiation shielding and collimation; reduced detector cross-talk; improved image contrast; and the possibility of combining container CT with material-specific alarm resolution capability based on x-ray diffraction tomography.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 October 2004
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5541, Penetrating Radiation Systems and Applications VI, (26 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.561615
Show Author Affiliations
Geoffrey Harding, Yxlon International Security (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5541:
Penetrating Radiation Systems and Applications VI
F. Patrick Doty; Richard C. Schirato; H. Bradford Barber; Hans Roehrig, Editor(s)

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