Due to its high intrinsic spatial resolution, individual X-ray and gamma-ray photon counting ability, adequate spectral resolution, and large imaging area, the proposed detector is expected to find numerous applications in fields of high resolution X-ray/gamma-ray detection, small animal single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and other nuclear medicine applications, X-ray medical imaging (including mammography, digital tomosynthesis and computed tomography), time-resolved X-ray diffraction studies at synchrotron sources, dynamic X-ray imaging of hypervelocity projectiles, X-ray microscopy, and low-light optical tomography. The current annual commercial market for X-ray and nuclear imagers is estimated to be several billions of dollars, a significant fraction of which represents areas where the proposed detector technology may be utilized.
The value of this type of detector, a high performance X-ray imaging camera, is evident from its scheduled use to calibrate the flight X-ray telescopes for the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission, a NASA SMEX scheduled for launch in 2012. The proposed detector, with its enhanced performance, will allow its use for several specific new missions and mission areas, including the International X-ray Observatory (IXO), hard X-ray solar astronomy (e.g., the Focusing Optics X-ray Solar Imager, FOXSI), and X-ray detectors that can be used for characterizing any X-ray telescope at NASA MSFC. With its very high spatial resolution and high frame rate performance, this imaging detector may also be used for dynamic nondestructive evaluations (NDE) of spacecraft components, which are routinely performed for quality assurance and design improvement purposes.