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Stellarray Developing CT Imaging System for Space Missions

30 June 2016

Stellarray announced today that it has begun a project for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to develop a radiographic medical imaging system that can be carried into space and used on future orbital, planetary and asteroid missions. The project, a six-month Phase I effort under NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, will produce designs and prove out unique hardware components for a Multi-purpose X-ray Source and System (MPXS) that can be used not only for traditional 2D x-ray imaging but also for digital tomosynthesis and other forms of 3D computed tomography. The MPXS system will meet imaging needs for a number of NASA’s priority “exploratory medical conditions”, including musculoskeletal, head and neck, soft tissue, dental and other conditions. MPXS is being deigned to have less than 1% of the weight and volume of a traditional CT system.

Mark Eaton, Stellarray CEO, commented that “This is an exciting time for the space enterprise. NASA is embarking on a new range of leading edge explorations and now we have private ventures launching missions as well. We are thrilled to be involved in this aspect of human science for space missions. When you think of NASA technology you think of the many spin-off applications from past missions. In our case, a system small and rugged enough to be carried into space can meet some important medical imaging needs here on earth, including portable tomography for military and emergency medicine and compact, affordable systems for emerging markets and underserved populations in the U.S.”

The MPXS project is being led by Richard Savage, who has over 20 years of experience developing multimillion-dollar x-ray imaging products for government and commercial customers. Mr. Savage was most recently Systems Engineer for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Upgrade Project at the UT McDonald Observatory. He was previously Vice President of Engineering at Rapiscan Systems HEIC where he developed mobile cargo x-ray inspection systems for an international market. He held earlier engineering management positions for the development of advanced x-ray imaging products at the Advanced Research and Applications Corporation (ARACOR) and Scientific Measurement Systems. Mr. Savage earned his BS in Engineering Science and MS in Nuclear Engineering from UT-Austin.

Stellarray began operations in 2008 to make novel radiation sources and systems using them. The company has developed manufacturing systems for its novel flat panel x-ray sources and is working on product releases for blood and research irradiators to replace radioactive isotopes. The company is developing digital “smart x-ray sources” for next generation computed tomography and phase contrast imaging systems. For further information please contact eaton@stellar-ray.com.