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Examination system utilizing ionizing radiation and a flexible, miniature radiation detector probe

United States Patent

5,568,532
October 22, 1996
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility - Visit the Technology Review Committee Website
An optimized examination system and method based on the Reverse Geometry X-Ray.RTM. (RGX.RTM.) radiography technique are presented. The examination system comprises a radiation source, at least one flexible, miniature radiation detector probe positioned in appropriate proximity to the object to be examined and to the radiation source with the object located between the source and the probe, a photodetector device attachable to an end of the miniature radiation probe, and a control unit integrated with a display device connected to the photodetector device. The miniature radiation detector probe comprises a scintillation element, a flexible light guide having a first end optically coupled to the scintillation element and having a second end attachable to the photodetector device, and an opaque, environmentally-resistant sheath surrounding the flexible light guide. The probe may be portable and insertable, or may be fixed in place within the object to be examined. An enclosed, flexible, liquid light guide is also presented, which comprises a thin-walled flexible tube, a liquid, preferably mineral oil, contained within the tube, a scintillation element located at a first end of the tube, closures located at both ends of the tube, and an opaque, environmentally-resistant sheath surrounding the flexible tube. The examination system and method have applications in non-destructive material testing for voids, cracks, and corrosion, and may be used in areas containing hazardous materials. In addition, the system and method have applications for medical and dental imaging.
Majewski; Stanislaw (Grafton, VA), Kross; Brian J. (Yorktown, VA), Zorn; Carl J. (Yorktown, VA), Majewski; Lukasz A. (Grafton, VA)
Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. (Newport News, VA)
08/ 289,918
August 12, 1994
The United States may have certain rights to this invention, under Management and Operating Contract DE-AC05-84ER40150 from the United States Department of Energy.