Aerospace - In addition to NASA's needs, there is a routine need in the aerospace industry to inspect for metal fatigue on the wings and fuselage of airplanes. Cargo Inspection - There is a demonstrated need for one-sided imaging for inspecting cargo and other transportation containers that are already loaded onto a ship or other transportation carrier. A portable, battery-powered unit would enable random inspections at a much lower cost than truck-based imaging systems. Explosives Detection - Current explosives ordinance detection systems require an imaging plate to be positioned behind a suspicious package such as a suitcase or backpack. The proposed system will allow imaging from one-side only. Construction and Related Industries - There is a need for contractors to be able to image inside walls, floors, ceilings, etc., to determine the location of pipes, electrical wires, and other internal obstructions before demolition or remodel work.
The proposed three-dimensional backscatter x-ray imaging system addresses the interest for NASA in one-sided 3D imaging of non-uniformities in non metallic space flight materials. The proposed x-ray backscatter 3D system will help determine defects, voids or imperfections in the workmanship of the Space Shuttle components at the launch site. The system portability will allow it to be brought to the spacecraft and to be handled in the field for multiple applications. Furthermore, this 3D capability can be used at the launch site to meet the inspection requirements for new NASA programs, such as the Constellation program. Additional potential applications include inspection for micro-meteorite damage to shielding layers in inflatable habitats, and inspection for damage to re-entry vehicle heat shields.