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Proceedings Paper

The first large area, high X-ray energy phase contrast prototype for enhanced detection of threat object in baggage screening
Author(s): Alberto Astolfo; Marco Endrizzi; Benjamin Price; Ian Haig; Alessandro Olivo
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Paper Abstract

X-ray imaging is the most commonly used method in baggage screening. Conventional x-ray attenuation (usually in dual-energy mode) is exploited to discriminate threat and non-threat materials: this is essentially, a method that has seen little changes in decades. Our goal is to demonstrate that x-rays can be used in a different way to achieve improved detection of weapons and explosives. Our approach involves the use of x-ray phase contrast and it a) allows much higher sensitivity in the detection of object edges and b) can be made sensitive to the sample’s microstructure. We believe that these additional channels of information, alongside conventional attenuation which would still be available, have the potential to significantly increase both sensitivity and specificity in baggage scanning.

We obtained preliminary data demonstrating the above enhanced detection, and we built a scanner (currently in commissioning) to scale the concept up and test it on real baggage. In particular, while previous X-ray phase contrast imaging systems were limited in terms of both field of view (FOV) and maximum x-ray energy, this scanner overcomes both those limitations and provides FOVs up to 20 to 50 cm2 with x-ray energies up to 100 keV.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 October 2016
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9995, Optics and Photonics for Counterterrorism, Crime Fighting, and Defence XII, 999505 (24 October 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2239556
Show Author Affiliations
Alberto Astolfo, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
Marco Endrizzi, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
Benjamin Price, X-Tek Systems-Nikon (United Kingdom)
Ian Haig, X-Tek Systems-Nikon (United Kingdom)
Alessandro Olivo, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9995:
Optics and Photonics for Counterterrorism, Crime Fighting, and Defence XII
Douglas Burgess; Gari Owen; Henri Bouma; Felicity Carlysle-Davies; Robert James Stokes; Yitzhak Yitzhaky, Editor(s)

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