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Particle Accelerator Science & Technology: Low Energy.

Particle accelerators are a major invention of the 20th century. In the last eight decades, they have evolved enormously and have fundamentally changed the way we live, think and work. There are tens of thousands of small accelerators all over the world. They are used every day for medical imaging, cancer therapy, radioisotope production, high-density chip-making, mass spectrometry, cargo x-ray/gamma-ray imaging, detection of explosives and illicit drugs, and weapons.


 
Reactor Accelerator Coupling Experiments (RACE) Project

The Reactor Accelerator Coupling Experiments (RACE) Project was developed in 2003 as the only experimental research component within the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI) of the U.S. Department of Energy for investigation of transmutation using accelerator-driven subcritical systems (ADS). It was a university-based research project lead by the Idaho State University (ISU). RACE Project experiments began at the ISU’s Idaho Accelerator Center (IAC) in 2004, and continued there and at the University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin) in 2005 and 2006.

Accelerator based cargo inspection system

As part of an accelerator based cargo inspection system, studies were made to develop a Cabinet Safe System by Optimization of the Beam Optics of microwave linear accelerators of the IAC-Varian series working on the S-band and standing wave p/2 mode. Measurements, modeling and simulations of the main subsystems were done and a Multiple Solenoidal System was designed.

X-Ray Flat Panel Source

The design and fabrication feasibility of a distributed flat panel X-ray source for medical and industrial X-ray imaging is being investigated. The distributed flat panel X-ray source is based on a two dimensional array of micrometer size X-ray cells similar in format to pixels in flat panel displays. In this x ray source, x ray generation in each of the micro-cells can be controlled independently. This is a new approach of x-ray generation for imaging which is not limited by the constraints of the current x-ray tubes. Patients and non-medical users will benefit of improved accuracy, lower radiation dose, portability and faster diagnostics allowing field applications such as portable X-ray devices for emergency response teams or for imaging and non-destructive evaluation in limited space or difficult to access areas.

 

3D Tomosynthesis Devices

Digital tomosynthesis combines digital image capture and processing with simple detector motion. Although there are some similarities to CT, it is a separate and simpler technique. For many applications the size of the x-ray device is not compact neither efficient enough for the development of fully portable and optimized system. Distributing x-ray sources across a plane and bursting x-rays from each source sequentially can achieve motionless and fast tomosynthesis imaging. The use of high gradient C-band / X-band particle accelerator science and technology can optimize the production of x-rays and make the current tomosynthesis imaging devices more compact aiding to the portability of the device widening the number of applications in the medical, industrial and security sectors.