By Angela Skujins
South Australian company Micro-X has signed a contract with Thales Group to develop its mobile X-ray products for security purposes.
Under a new contract with established global supplier of defence and security technology systems, Thales, Adelaide-based company Micro-X will develop multiple image processing systems for defence and security purposes.
Micro-X manufactures carbon nanotube X-ray systems that are portable and adaptable for multiple industries and is based at the Tonsley Innovation Precinct in Adelaide’s southern suburbs alongside several other advanced manufacturing companies such as SAGE Automation and Siemens.
Thales is a multinational security company that develops products for aerospace, defence, transportation and security technology markets.
Under a six-year convertible bond, Thales is investing AUD$10 million in Micro-X with the proceeds designed to develop a selection of the company’s products.
Micro-X’s Managing Director, Peter Rowland, said the deal is a key inflection point in Micro-X’s development and changes its growth trajectory.
“The close, long term working relationship and collaboration agreed with Thales on technology, manufacturing, product development and sales activities positions us well to propel Micro-X’s value creation quickly,” Rowland said.
Thales and Micro-X will collaborate on the global sales and support of Micro-X’s counter-terrorism Mobile Backscatter Imager of Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs. The technology scrutinizes IEDs which are commonly used overseas in roadside settings.
Design and development is already underway in Adelaide for the Imager following positive feedback from American and Australian defence forces after a demonstration conducted at the Australian Defence Force’s Counter-IED Task Force.
For the counter-terrorism product, Micro-X will offer direct sales to the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Thales will sell the management buy-in product – manufactured in Adelaide – internationally.
Another product that will be developed further is an airport checkpoint security scanner.
After working with the UK Government’s Department for Transport, Micro-X produced dual backscatter and transmission x-ray imaging technology that combines traditional and sophisticated X-ray imaging to provide a clear image of scanned luggage.
Thales will use the X-ray scanning technology under license.
Micro-X recently unveiled a prototype of the luggage X-ray imaging system at the ‘Future Airport Security Solutions’ (FASS) industry showcase in London.
Micro-X and Thales will also design and manufacture a new range of ultra-miniature X-ray tubes. These tubes combine Micro-X’s experience in carbon nanotube x-ray sources with Thales’s experience in X-ray devices.
The tubes will be designed by Thales in South Australia and manufactured in France.
Jean-Jacques Guittard, Thales’ Vice President of Microwave and Imaging Sub-Systems said X-ray imaging offers the best practical and quantifiable benefits in the CNT market.
“From airport checkpoints to counter terrorism activities to future medical imaging devices, Thales and Micro-X are on the edge of a historically decisive moment. In addition to these high-tech synergies and as a major player in the digital domain, this partnership will give us a technological leap none else can offer.”
This article originally appeared at The Lead SA.
Subscribe to our free @AuManufacturing newsletter here.