Portable High-Intensity X-Ray Source Based on a 10 MeV Superconducting Electron Linac

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Niowave Inc.
1012 N. Walnut Street Array
Lansing, MI 48906
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


In the post 9/11 security environment, rapid cargo inspection has become a high priority. Cargo scanning using either radiographic imaging or active interrogation for Special Nuclear Material (SNM) requires high energy and high intensity x-rays. High intensity x-ray sources are especially important for active interrogation techniques such as photo-fission, delayed neutron & gamma measurements, pulse-shaped discrimination and Nuclear Resonance Fluorescence (NRF). The most common source of such x-rays is an electron accelerator. Existing pulsed copper accelerators can deliver high energy electrons (3-10 MeV), but have low duty cycle beams and correspondingly low average current. These low current beams limit the quality of x-ray images and SNM detection sensitivity. Furthermore, inspection systems based on copper accelerators typically weigh several tons, have a large footprint, and consume hundreds of kilowatts of electric power. As a result, these machines require a large, fixed site to operate.