The X-ray imaging systems that could be installed at the accelerator facility can find use in other fields outside of biological and preclinical research. Installation of this imaging system can establish an imaging facility useful for a number of other research teams from different fields, including from outside the institute.
The X-ray imaging subsystem is virtually the same as the one used in RadalyX system for variety of X-ray imaging tasks. It is, thanks to the novel very sensitive X-ray imaging detectors, well suitable for analysis of new material properties. Radalytica is using the system for X-ray imaging of carbon fibre reinforced plastic composites that are used in aerospace, but also in automotive industry. The spectral X-ray imaging finds its use in analysis of cultural heritage. The power of X-ray absorption spectrometry is in Fig. 1.
Fig. 1 The painting La Crau with a View of Montmajour is a unique example of the use of material-sensitive x-ray radiography using robotic imaging equipment with WidePIX detectors.
During the radiographic survey of the work, it was found that there is another image under the painting of the La Crau landscape, namely the figure of a female nude shown from behind.
The style of underpainting and the position of the model show that it is an incomplete study painting of a nude, similar to the models van Gogh drew and painted in classes at the local academy in 1886-88, during his Parisian visit.
X-ray imaging is not the only imaging modality available. The device is by default equipped with laser distance measurement. This can be used to create 3D maps of object surfaces for example for metrological purposes. Radalytica is also developing a range of other imaging modalities. These imaging probes are easily interchangeable on the robotic arms. The same robotic platform can therefore perform a variety of imaging tasks and can be also extended in the future as new imaging modalities become available or as new research requirements or as TimePix technology evolves will arise.
Radalytica in collaboration with company SONOTEC GmbH integrates air-coupled ultrasound probes. These are in particular powerful for detection of delaminations in composite materials which are virtually invisible by X-rays. The air-couple ultrasound finds also other uses in material, aerospace and other research fields.
The new types of energy sensitive imaging detectors have a significant impact also to Xray diffraction. Measuring the spectrum of diffracted photons means that any monochromators on the X-ray source side can be eliminated. This significantly reduces complexity of the XRD system and allows its integration with robotic arms. Radalytica is now starting another Eurostar project to develop such modules. Large area XRD scan will be possible and the analysis of crystalline structures will be possible in vivo. The XRD system can be easily combined with XRF for precise elemental analysis.
Other imaging modalities that are under development or on the R&D roadmap are high resolution photography of object surfaces, hyperspectral imaging, UV and infrared imaging. Many of these methods are in particular interesting for analysis of cultural heritage.