skip to main content


This content will become publicly available on March 28, 2018

Title: Automating High-Precision X-Ray and Neutron Imaging Applications with Robotics

Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of Texas at Austin recently implemented a robotically controlled nondestructive testing (NDT) system for X-ray and neutron imaging. This system is intended to address the need for accurate measurements for a variety of parts and, be able to track measurement geometry at every imaging location, and is designed for high-throughput applications. This system was deployed in a beam port at a nuclear research reactor and in an operational inspection X-ray bay. The nuclear research reactor system consisted of a precision industrial seven-axis robot, 1.1-MW TRIGA research reactor, and a scintillator-mirror-camera-based imaging system. The X-ray bay system incorporated the same robot, a 225-keV microfocus X-ray source, and a custom flat panel digital detector. The robotic positioning arm is programmable and allows imaging in multiple configurations, including planar, cylindrical, as well as other user defined geometries that provide enhanced engineering evaluation capability. The imaging acquisition device is coupled with the robot for automated image acquisition. The robot can achieve target positional repeatability within 17 μm in the 3-D space. Flexible automation with nondestructive imaging saves costs, reduces dosage, adds imaging techniques, and achieves better quality results in less time. Specifics regarding the robotic system andmore » imaging acquisition and evaluation processes are presented. In conclusion, this paper reviews the comprehensive testing and system evaluation to affirm the feasibility of robotic NDT, presents the system configuration, and reviews results for both X-ray and neutron radiography imaging applications.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States). Nuclear and Radiation Teaching Lab., Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1545-5955
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering; Journal ID: ISSN 1545-5955
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; autonomous system; calibration; collision avoidance; computed tomography (CT); flexible automation; helical scanning; motion control; nondestructive testing (NDT); path planning; precision movement; radiation damage; radiography; software communication
OSTI Identifier: