X-ray CT reconstruction algorithms for airport security and process tomography

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Mathematics


Although X-ray computerized tomography is currently used to scan airport luggage for potential explosive devices, these machines are slow and produce a large number of false positives. A UK company CXR have developed an X-ray scanner with multiple sources that can be switched on in a predetermined sequence. This is much faster than the the conventional approach where a single source is rotated around the object. However the reconstruction of images from this sytem requires new mathematical theory and algorithms.The new fast system can also be used to monitor the flow of mixtures such as oil, gas and water in in pipes, an important problem in the oil extraction industry.In this project we will develop and test new reconstruction algorithms for these applications.
Description New algorithms were developed for a fast x-ray scanner used to make 3D pictures of airport baggage. The methods could also be used in industry and medicine
Exploitation Route The baggage scanner developed is now in production in the UK and deployed in airports around the world. We also have one in Manchester where we are using it for science and engineering
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Security and Diplomacy,Transport

Description This project developed reconstruction algorithms and design tools that contributed to the success of the RTT 110 and RTT 80 fast baggage scanners which are now being manufactured in the UK and exported to airports around the world where they are deployed scanning hold luggage. Two patents have been awarded and the University retains rights in non security areas, and two industrial CT companies are interested in sub licensing. The techniques developed have fuelled further developments in CT for materials science and NDT and we are using our own RTT, the fastest x-ray CT machine available, for fundamental and applied science
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Electronics,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Security and Diplomacy,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Economic

Description CXR Ltd 
Organisation Rapiscan Systems
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Rapiscan systems bought CXR. We developednovel reconstruction algorithms and firing orders that enabledthe development of teh Real Time Tomography baggage scanners
Collaborator Contribution Rapiscan designed the system and posed the problem, they collaborated extensively with us providing test data and detailed specifications of the their systems and access to their design teams. They also provided us with detailsof teh requirements of seecurity baggage screening, regulations, test objects etc.
Impact The Rapiscan RTT110 is now in production in the UK, it has been approved for use in many jursidictions including the USA and EU, and has been exported to at least four countriesalready. The interdisciplinary team(us and Rapiscan) won The Enginner Innovation Prize in the security category. Theproject was cited aspart of our Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2014 for x-ray CT. In Dec 2014 we are installing our own RTT110 to use ffast CT for fundamental science.
Start Year 2006
Description Zeiss 
Organisation Carl Zeiss AG
Country Germany 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have provided newreconstruction algorhms for CT
Collaborator Contribution Regualr meetings, disclosure of details of systems, test data, physics background, loan of hardware, test facilities
Impact Outcomes are largely confidentialand internal, but we have use of software we have developed,written some papers and teh company sponsoredan MSc student as well
Start Year 2012
Title Optimization of the Source Firing Pattern for X-Ray Scanning Systems 
Description A novel source firing order based on a 4D samplingsceme for fastmult-source CT systems enabling obtimum resolution 
IP Reference US20120219116 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2012
Licensed Yes
Impact Improved resolution for teh RTT baggage scanners
Title System and Method for Image Reconstruction By Using Multi-Sheet Surface Rebinning 
Description The present application is directed toward the generation of three dimensional images in a tomography system having X-ray sources offset from detectors, in particular in a system where the sources are located on a plane, while detectors are located on multiple parallel planes, parallel to the plane of sources and all the planes of detectors lie on one side of the plane of sources. A controller operates to rebin detected X-rays onto a non-flat surface, perform two dimensional reconstruction on the surface, and generate the three dimensional image from reconstructed images on the plurality of surfaces. 
IP Reference US2012207374 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2012
Licensed Yes
Impact The success of the RTT bagage scanning systems now in production