Varian, PARC Receive Security System Funding

Varian Medical Systems, Inc. and the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) have been awarded a $5.87 million federal grant to develop ultra-sensitive X-ray inspection technology for cargo screening at airports and seaports. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, as part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Advanced Technology Program.

Scientists at the two institutions, which have successfully collaborated in the past to develop flat-panel X-ray detectors for medical applications, will now work to develop large-area, highresolution digital X-ray sensor arrays for cone-beam computerized tomography (CT). These new large-area detectors, when paired with high-energy X-ray sources such as Varian's Linatron linear accelerators, will enable technicians to examine the contents of a cargo container more quickly and thoroughly.

"The goal is to develop cost-effective methods for making flat-panel sensor arrays that are many times larger than those used for medical imaging," said Michael Green, technical manager for the project and senior scientist at Varian's Ginzton Technology Center, the company's research and development organization.

Both Varian and PARC, a subsidiary of Xerox, are investing additional resources into this research project.

"This is a complex, multidisciplinary effort that would be difficult for any one company to complete on its own," said Robert Street, PARC senior research fellow and project principal investigator.

"Without the ATP funding, the develop- ment of new technology from this research would take much longer."

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 22,  Oct 2003

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