Micro-X is currently developing ‘Argus’, an x-ray camera providing unrivalled rapid assessment x-ray capability.
Argus will transform stand-off imaging capability in the counter IED domain. Using backscatter imaging technology, it takes images to detect threats such as bombs, drugs, and other organic material. The system has been designed with an agnostic approach to integration on robotic platforms, and can be deployed independently as a Carry Forward System with no requirements to deploy an imaging panel. High-resolution x-ray images can be viewed remotely to reduce ‘time over target’ and guide ‘make-safe’ disruption.
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Innovative Rapid Assessment X-Ray
Micro-X’s unique electronic x-ray tube technology has enabled the development of a lightweight, electronically controlled emitter tube that can be fired and collimated remotely. The introduction of backscatter technology inside Argus removes the need for a detector to be placed behind the object being x-rayed and can detect organic material, providing benefits in Counter IED and Border Interdiction Operations. The system has been designed with the ability to switch modes and provide transmission x-ray if required.
Redefining Rapid Assessment X-Ray
When operating in Rapid Assessment Mode the Graphic User Interface (GUI) will operate on proprietary Rapid Assessment Software (RAS) designed for backscatter technology, providing the operator with basic functionality required to interpret a suspect device. Should the operator require high-definition imaging, the system will have the ability to switch to transmission mode and operate on Sandia National Laboratories XTK X-ray Tool Kit.
Understanding the Need
ccThe ability to perform reliable and safe stand-off x-ray in domestic and battlefield environments has always come at a risk. The operator must approach the device manually putting themselves at risk or deploy generally utilitarian transmission x-ray systems to capture images. The Australian Department of Defence contracted Micro-X to demonstrate a proof of concept for stand-off imaging of Improvised Explosive Devices. This contract was successfully completed and proved resolution of less than 0.5mm as well as how explosive material becomes highlighted in a backscatter image.
Micro-X has been advancing the development of this product trying to make it as small and lightweight as possible to meet the operational user’s needs. In military science ‘force multiplication’ refers to a factor or combination of factors that gives personnel or weapons the ability to accomplish greater feats than without it. The x-ray camera has been designed to be deployed remotely via Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) to perform stand-off x-ray in domestic and battlefield environments.
In 2018 the Australian Army published the Army’s Robotic and Autonomous Systems Strategy (RAS), the focus within Force Protection is; to remove soldiers from some of the most dangerous battlefield tasks including Improvised Explosive Device and Chemical Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Environment tasks.
By removing the human from immediate danger and increasing force protection, the x-ray camera will enable Army to conduct operations in areas that were previously not possible or only at extreme risk, and free up human resources to complete other tasks.