Shape Services Ltd tracks the Thales & Micro-X Novel X-Ray Scanning collaboration

A collaboration between Thales and Micro-X should eliminate the need for airline passengers to queue up, open their bags and remove electronic devices and liquids.

Micro-X is a global leader of cold-cathode x-ray technology, and Thales are leaders in security and medical imaging so it is a well placed multi-faceted collaboration that will see the development of X-ray imaging systems based on X-ray sources that use Carbon NanoTubes (CNT) cathodes. This new technology will couple carbon nanotubes cathodes with backscattering image processing algorithm and Artificial Intelligence, efficiently improving the way suspicious items are identified, a process Thales is describing as ‘disruptive imaging performance’.

It’s no secret that airport checkpoint technology is facing an immediate challenge, with global passenger numbers at an unprecedented high and on track to double by 2030 (source: IATA). Airports require a solution to process a larger volume of passengers per hour without compromising threat detection. With this development eliminating the need for passengers to queue up, open bags and remove electronics devices and liquids, it could certainly make processing a much faster and more pleasant experience. Passengers will simply set their closed bag on the scanner and walk through another scanner. Furthermore, Thales states that ‘the new equipment will achieve a level of miniaturisation that will lead to significant space reduction, in turn freeing valuable terminal real estate currently allocated to security checks, for commercial use and improved passenger flow’.

The two organisations will initially collaborate on the design of novel, miniaturised X-ray sources, produced by Thales and manufactured in Moirans, France, and will power both Thales and Micro-X’s future roadmap of innovative x-ray products.

Ultimately, this collaboration wont be limited to just airport checkpoint technology as Thales looks to take this technology to several markets within the Thales group, these sources will address the medical, defence and security markets. From airport checkpoints to counterterrorism activities, to future medical imaging devices.


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