Compact and portable X-ray imager system using Medipix3RX

In this paper the design and implementation of a novel portable X-ray imager system is presented. The design features a direct X-ray detection scheme by making use of a hybrid detector (Medipix3RX). Taking advantages of the capabilities of the Medipix3RX, like a high resolution, zero dead-time, single photon detection and charge-sharing mode, the imager has a better resolution and higher sensitivity compared to using traditional indirect detection schemes. A detailed description of the system is presented, which consists of a vacuum chamber containing the sensor, an electronic board for temperature management, conditioning and readout of the sensor and a data processing unit which also handles network connection and allow communication with clients by acting as a server. A field programmable gate array (FPGA) device is used to implement the readout protocol for the Medipix3RX, apart from the readout the FPGA can perform complex image processing functions such as feature extraction, histogram, profiling and image compression at high speeds. The temperature of the sensor is monitored and controlled through a PID algorithm making use of a Peltier cooler, improving the energy resolution and response stability of the sensor. Without implementing data compression techniques, the system is capable of transferring 680 profiles/s or 240 images/s in a continuous mode. Implementation of equalization procedures and tests on colour mode are presented in this paper. For the experimental measurements the Medipix3RX sensor was used with a Silicon layer. One of the tested applications of the system is as an X-ray beam position monitor (XBPM) device for synchrotron applications. The XBPM allows a non-destructive real time measurement of the beam position, size and intensity. A Kapton foil is placed in the beam path scattering radiation towards a pinhole camera setup that allows the sensor to obtain an image of the beam. By using profiles of the synchrotron X-ray beam, high frequency movement of the beam position can be studied, up to 340 Hz. The system is capable of realizing an independent energy measure of the beam by using the Medipix3RX variable energy threshold feature.

Garcia-Nathan, T. B., Kachatkou, A., Jiang, C., Omar, D., Marchal, J., Changani, H., … & van Silfhout, R. G. (2017). Compact and portable X-ray imager system using Medipix3RX. Journal of Instrumentation12(10), C10011.

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