Stationary Computed Tomography for Space and other Resource-constrained Environments

Avilash Cramer*, Jake Hecla, Dufan Wu, Xiaochun Lai, Kai Yang, Tim Moulton, Steven Kenyon, Zaven Arzoumanian, Wolfgang Krull, Keith Gendreau, Rajiv Gupta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Computed tomography (CT) is used to diagnose many emergent medical conditions, including stroke and traumatic brain injuries. Unfortunately, the size, weight, and expense of CT systems make them largely inaccessible for patients outside of major hospitals. We have designed a module containing multiple miniature x-ray sources that could allow for CT systems to be significantly lighter, smaller, and cheaper, and to operate without any moving parts. We have developed a novel photocathode-based x-ray source, created by depositing a thin film of magnesium on an electron multiplier. When illuminated by a UV LED, this photocathode emits a beam of electrons, with a beam current of up to 1 mA. The produced electrons are accelerated through a high voltage to a tungsten target. These sources are individually addressable and can be pulsed rapidly, through electronic control of the LEDs. Seven of these sources are housed together in a 17.5 degree arc within a custom vacuum manifold. A full ring of these modules could be used for CT imaging. By pulsing the sources in series, we are able to demonstrate x-ray tomosynthesis without any moving parts. With a clinical flat-panel detector, we demonstrate 3D acquisition and reconstructions of a cadaver swine lung.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14195
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Stationary Computed Tomography for Space and other Resource-constrained Environments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this