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Aug 27, 2021

Fast Forward: X-ray at 10,000 fps already a reality inside our labs

- By Jacqueline Wheeler

CTO Christer Ullberg and our innovators in Sweden like to move fast. Their dynamism has powered the high-speed Thor detector range that includes the XC -Thor.10G, which images at up to 6000 fps.

But staying ahead is our business, so fast forward again to these latest rough cuts from our labs, where Christer and his team are already well on their way to finalising a super-fast area detector that can resolve very small time steps: the XC-Pyxis.

In the video below, an experimental model of the XC-Pyxis accurately captures the time sequence of the interaction between a bullet and two ceramic tiles because of its exceptional frame rate of 10,000 fps. This is ground-breaking for X-ray imaging.

There is only one of these detectors in engineering at the moment and it’s working hard at this key, testing stage of development. The experts among our readers will know that this detector is slightly damaged from lab use which results in two rectangular bars at the top of the image.

Watch the footage:

Christer videos and X-rays the passage of a copper bullet, fired from a CO2 powered airgun, as it passes through two, small Al2O3 ceramic PCB boards, 1 mm thick, with some tungsten powder between them. The yellow tape that is visible down the centre of the image holds the boards together and adds visual clarity to the setup. 

Watch as the bullet shoots through the boards, exiting at 90 m/s, almost the blink of an eye. 

The consequential spread of the tungsten powder is revealed in extraordinary, high contrast detail. Traditional detectors, imaging at 100-300 fps, simply can’t get close to this. 

At 10,000 fps the XC-Pyxis clearly shows the drift and direction of the multitude of fine particles as they travel through space indicating density as well as direction. There is more and different information in the X-ray images than in the film on the right.

Fast technology for a fast-changing world

The value of this technology reaches across industrial and medical applications, from drop testing of vehicles in car manufacture to the high speed, phase contrast imaging of dose release of powder in a prescription inhaler.

Change in the modern world accelerates as it moves forward. The XC-Pyxis shows our experts setting the pace