Aussie X-ray tech to transform US airport security

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Australian company Micro-X will establish its US headquarters at SeaTac, Washington State, as it expands its capabilities to better support its growing business. The proximity to the airport for Micro-X’s future airline passenger self-screening development, the high level of software talent in the greater Seattle region and the room in South King County for the company’s expansion plans all contributed to SeaTac being chosen as the location for Micro-X’s headquarters.

Using its patented carbon nanotube X-ray cold emitter technology, Micro-X has invented Rover, a mobile X-ray machine that is lightweight and ruggedised for high-intensity use in field hospitals and remote locations. The technology could also transform airport security across Australia, enabling faster X-ray baggage screening, thereby reimagining airport checkpoints.

Brian Gonzales, CEO of Micro-X’s US operations, predicts that the SeaTac facility will be a centre of excellence for imaging product development, revolutionising medical, defence and security X-ray imaging.

“Our mobile X-ray machines are available now for use in public and military hospitals. They’re lighter, cheaper, more robust and more precise than our competitors. In Australia we’re developing a CT brain scanner, so small and so light that it will integrate into any ambulance, allowing brain scans at the point of care,” said Gonzales.

Gonzales added that the team at SeaTac will work on proprietary imaging software and algorithms as part of this project. The company will also work with the US Government to develop a self-service booth that provides a 3D image of carry-on luggage together with a body scanner and passport reader.

“We’re excited to be investing in SeaTac and Washington State, the home of many global leaders in innovation and technology. We thank Congressman Adam Smith and SeaTac Mayor Erin Sitterley for their warm welcome,” said Gonzales.

The invention that enables these ideas is inside Micro-X’s X-ray tube, which replaces conventional X-ray tubes that use a hot filament, like an old-fashioned light bulb, to generate the electron stream needed to make X-rays. Micro-X’s technology applies voltage to an emitter made from carbon nanotubes (CNT) to generate the stream of electrons instead. It is smaller, more energy efficient and longer lasting, like LED lights. The devices also produce a beam that can be controlled precisely by adjusting the voltage, thereby changing how X-rays are used worldwide.

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