Patents by Inventor Martin Annis

Martin Annis has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 9204848
    Abstract: An x-ray source emits a cone beam to a rotating, x-ray-opaque disc with radial slots. The slots break the cone beam into fan beams that are emitted to an x-ray-opaque plate that produces a scanning x-ray pencil beam as each fan beam moves across a slit in the plate. A backscatter detector is adjacent to the plate. A collimator is adjacent. The pencil beam enters the object space through slits in the detector and collimator. The pencil beam moves rapidly in the y direction in the object space, producing backscatter x-rays from the object. The collimator only passes backscattered x-rays at a selected distance from the detector. Simultaneously, the assemblage of x-ray source, disc, plate, detector, and collimator moves slowly in the x and z directions. The backscattered x-rays passed by the collimator are processed to form planar images at various depths in the object space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2015
    Assignee: Martin Annis Patent Trust—2009
    Inventor: Martin Annis
  • Publication number: 20150297156
    Abstract: An x-ray source emits a cone beam to a rotating, x-ray-opaque disc with radial slots. The slots break the cone beam into fan beams that are emitted to an x-ray-opaque plate that produces a scanning x-ray pencil beam as each fan beam moves across a slit in the plate. A backscatter detector is adjacent to the plate. A collimator is adjacent. The pencil beam enters the object space through slits in the detector and collimator. The pencil beam moves rapidly in the y direction in the object space, producing backscatter x-rays from the object. The collimator only passes backscattered x-rays at a selected distance from the detector. Simultaneously, the assemblage of x-ray source, disc, plate, detector, and collimator moves slowly in the x and z directions. The backscattered x-rays passed by the collimator are processed to form planar images at various depths in the object space.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 27, 2015
    Publication date: October 22, 2015
    Inventor: Martin Annis
  • Patent number: 8660238
    Abstract: A method of improving the detection of nuclear weapons in cargo containers. The container moves through an imaging region. An x-ray source emits a cone beam through the imaging region and to two or more detector columns, each detector column defining a fan beam. This hardware combines (1) the use of at least two detector assemblies, (2) use of both the current method and the photon counting method to determine x-ray intensities, and (3) use of large detector elements to increase the measured x-ray intensity by a typical factor of 270. The x-ray intensity for a pixel is read by each detector assembly at the appropriate time and the resulting x-ray intensities from each detector assembly are summed. A method of detecting a nuclear weapon includes identifying the nuclear device as the area of the image wherein a high absorption area is surrounded by a lower absorption area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2014
    Assignee: Martin Annis Patent Trust - 2009
    Inventor: Martin Annis
  • Patent number: 8094782
    Abstract: An x-ray source emits a cone beam a rapidly rotating, x-ray-opaque disc with four narrow radial slots. The slots break the cone beam into fan beams that are emitted to an x-ray-opaque plate with a narrow slit. As each fan beam moves across the plate, the slit produces a scanning x-ray pencil beam. The backscatter detector is mounted adjacent to the plate and has a slightly larger slit that is aligned with the plate slit. The pencil beam enters the object space through the detector slit. The pencil beam moves rapidly in a line across the object space, 20 cm in 0.1 second. Simultaneously, the assemblage of x-ray source, disc, plate, and detector moves slowly in the x direction at 1 mm in 0.05 second. Thus, the raster scan of the 20 cm×20 cm region is accomplished in 10 seconds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2012
    Inventor: Martin Annis
  • Patent number: 7860211
    Abstract: A method of producing a laminography image of an object. The object is rotated on a platform in an object space between a fixed x-ray source and multiple columns of detector elements. Two samples of each voxel are taken at each detector column, one for each of the two alignments of the x-ray source, voxel, and detector column as the object rotates. It is generally possible to image the entire object in one rotation. Optionally, the platform axis can be offset from the system center line or the platform can be translated through the object space in the plane of the platform in order to make sure that each voxel traverses all of the detector columns to acquire maximum data. Once all of the data for all of the voxels is acquired, it is used with any appropriate laminography algorithm to produce images of the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2010
    Inventor: Martin Annis
  • Patent number: 7620150
    Abstract: The apparatus has an x-ray source that emits an x-ray cone beam through a tubular, x-ray-blocking guide to a planar template with a small pinhole to produce a pencil beam. The template is movable so the pencil beam can scan the target region to be imaged. Between the template and target region is an x-ray detector assembly with a plastic scintillator. The scintillator has an opening about the same size and shape as the target region that allows the pencil beam to pass to the target region. Photo-multiplier detectors receive the light generated by the backscattered x-rays in the scintillator. The method of the present invention employs the apparatus. Multiple x-rays source locations permit the generation of 3D images.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2009
    Inventor: Martin Annis
  • Patent number: 7561666
    Abstract: A dual-energy x-ray source located a distance of one half of the maximum width of the subject from the subject emits a cone beam to a horizontal slit in an x-ray-blocking sheet, producing a fan beam that is chopped into a pencil beam by a rotating disk with radial slots. The pencil beam sweeps a subject, producing backscatter read by a plastic scintillator detector situated very close to and curved around the sides of the subject. The entire assembly translates vertically to produce a complete image of the subject. Pencil beam area is increased farther from the center by increasing the width of the slit toward both ends and increasing the width of the slots toward the outer end. High and low peak x-ray energies of 50 KeV or more and 30 KeV or less, respectively, enable differentiation between innocent and contraband materials that both contain low Z materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2009
    Inventor: Martin Annis
  • Publication number: 20080043913
    Abstract: An x-ray source emits a cone beam to a fixed horizontal slit in an x-ray-blocking sheet. The slit produces a fan beam that is chopped into a pencil beam by a rotating disk with radial slots. The pencil beam sweeps across and strikes a subject, producing backscatter that is read by a backscatter detector. The x-ray source, slit sheet, rotating disk, and detector translate vertically to produce a complete image of the subject. X-ray flux is increased by as much as a factor of 50 over prior art personnel inspection systems using several techniques. The detector uses a plastic scintillator situated very close to and curved around the sides of the subject, which increases the average solid angle subtended by the x-ray backscatter detector at a point on the surface of the subject.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 14, 2007
    Publication date: February 21, 2008
    Inventor: Martin Annis
  • Patent number: 7221732
    Abstract: An imaging system and method for taking an image of an object. The imaging system comprises a mechanism that propels the object linearly in a direction of motion through an imaging region that has a top, bottom, front, and rear; an x-ray source located below the bottom, aligned with the front, and emitting an x-ray cone beam to the imaging region; and a plurality of x-ray detector assemblies, each of the detector assemblies including a linear row of detectors above and parallel to the top and perpendicular to the direction of motion, and a linear column of detectors outside of and parallel to the rear right side and extending at an angle to the direction of motion, wherein each of the detector assemblies defines an x-ray fan beam within the x-ray cone beam. A second system embodiment duplicates the x-ray source/detector assemblage and rotates the second assemblage by 90° around the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2007
    Inventor: Martin Annis
  • Patent number: 7023950
    Abstract: A Laminography system with x-ray source and a detector assembly. The x-ray source uses a narrow, deflected pencil beam to scan to a linear target. An x-ray cone beam detected by the detector assembly is produced where the electron beam strikes the target. The target is a layer of high-emitting material that is partitioned with narrow regions of low-emitting material, where the low flux intensity is sufficiently low to be easily distinguished from the flux intensity of the high-emitting material. The target may be constructed as a discontinuous layer of high-emitting material applied to a substrate of low-emitting material, or as strips of low-emitting material applied to a continuous layer of high-emitting material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2006
    Inventor: Martin Annis
  • Patent number: 7012987
    Abstract: A method for substantially reducing the contribution of dense regions of an object while less dense regions of the object are being processed in a laminography blurring system. The method comprises the steps of positioning an x-ray source with a moving fan beam on one side of the object; positioning a row of x-ray detectors on the side of the object opposite that of the x-ray source; sequentially emitting a plurality of x-ray fan beams along an x-ray source line and directed through a focused pixel of the object to the row of x-ray detectors; sampling the x-ray detectors once for each of the fan beams for a total of it samples of intensity Ii; determining the maximum intensity Imax from the samples Ii; choosing a parameter P greater than one; retaining only those samples Ii that are greater than or equal to Imax/P; summing the retained samples; and normalizing the resultant sum. Normalizing can include multiplying the sum by the total number of samples divided by the number of retained samples.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2006
    Inventor: Martin Annis
  • Patent number: 6993111
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for reducing blurring caused by transverse movement of an object being inspected relative to the x-ray source/detector array assembly. The plane of the scanning fan beam plane generated by the x-ray source is tilted by an angle relative to the plane that is perpendicular to the direction of motion of the object by an angle such that the fan beam source traverses distance D parallel to the direction of motion of the object in the same amount of time as one scan of the fan beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2006
    Inventor: Martin Annis
  • Patent number: 6785360
    Abstract: A personnel x-ray inspection system includes an electron source that provides a pencil beam of electrons. An electromagnet assembly receives the pencil beam of electrons and directs the beam of electrons along a line to form a scanning redirected beam under the control of a scan command signal. The scanning redirected beam strikes a target and generates a cone of x-rays that moves along a target line as a result of the scanning redirected beam. A collimator receives the scanning cone of x-rays and generates a collimated traveling pencil beam, which is directed to a person under inspection. A moving platform translates the person under inspection through the collimated traveling pencil beam. A backscatter detector detects backscattered x-rays, and provides a backscattered detected signal indicative thereof. A system controller provides the scan command signal, and also receives and processes the backscattered detected signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2004
    Inventor: Martin Annis
  • Patent number: 6628745
    Abstract: A digital tomography system includes an electron source that provides a beam of electrons, and an electromagnet assembly that receives said beam of electrons and is configured and arranged to direct the beam of electrons along a selected path, wherein the assembly provides a redirected beam of electrons. The system also includes a target that is struck by the redirected beam of electrons and generates a cone of x-rays, and a slit collimator that receives the cone of x-rays and generates a fan beam. A first line of detectors is positioned to detect x-rays that pass through the object under inspection, and provide sensed signals indicative thereof to a controller that receives the sensed signals and forms a displayable image of a selected plane through the object under inspection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2003
    Inventors: Martin Annis, Richard Adler
  • Patent number: 6347132
    Abstract: An x-ray inspection system for automatically detecting nuclear weapons materials generates a high energy x-ray fan beam or a traveling x-ray pencil beam that traverses an object under inspection. An x-ray detector detects x-ray energy that passes through the object and provides a detected signal indicative thereof. The detected signal is processed to detect the presence of an area of very high x-ray attenuation within the object under inspection, which is indicative of nuclear weapons materials. Because of the high atomic number (Z) and high density of nuclear weapons materials Uranium and Plutonium, both of these materials attenuate (i.e., absorb) incident x-rays significantly more than ordinary materials. That is, very high Z materials such as nuclear weapons materials, produce no x-rays outside of their block of material because the x-rays are self absorbed within the very high Z materials.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2002
    Assignee: AnnisTech, Inc.
    Inventor: Martin Annis
  • Patent number: 6278115
    Abstract: Transmission and scatter detectors for an x-ray inspection system preferably employing a moving pencil beam comprise a solid plastic scintillating material having a front planar surface that is impinged by incident x-ray energy. The detectors also include light detectors that are cooperatively mounted to the plastic scintillating material to detect photons within the plastic scintillating material created in response to x-rays incident on the front planar surface. The detector may be a transmission detector or a scatter detector. The detectors of the present invention are relatively thin in comparison to prior art detectors, which allows shielding to be reduced. In addition, the detectors of the present invention have a greater efficiency of detection in comparison to the prior art detectors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2001
    Assignees: AnnisTech, Inc., North Star Research Corporation
    Inventors: Martin Annis, Richard J. Adler, Robert J. Richter-Sand
  • Patent number: 6009146
    Abstract: High energy scanning apparatus including a high voltage electrostatic generator and particle accelerator. A variable-trajectory electron beam is converted to a photon beam and collimated by a stationary collimator having a plurality of photon-passing slits. The stationary collimator produces a plurality of photon beams linearly and angularly displaced relative to each other in two dimensions. The photon beams are detected, thereby producing a plurality of preselected images including stereoscopic images. Also disclosed is a method of using the apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 28, 1999
    Inventors: Richard J. Adler, Martin Annis
  • Patent number: 5666393
    Abstract: An improved X-ray inspection system comprises a pulsed X-ray source configured to emit short, X-ray pulses for reducing afterglow noise. A rotating cylindrical collimator limits the X rays to a pencil-beam, which is directed across and through an object prior to interception by a detector. The detector comprises a plurality of scintillating screens optically coupled to photoemissive detecting elements. When the short X-ray pulses generated by the source are intercepted by the detector, the outputs of the detecting elements are sampled for only a short period of time, which sampling period is immediately followed by a substantially longer quiescent period of time during which the elements are not sampled. Therefore, only a slight portion of the typical afterglow noise occurs during measurement of a useful X-ray signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 9, 1997
    Inventor: Martin Annis
  • Patent number: 5528656
    Abstract: An improved digital image sampling arrangement samples only one pixel of a predetermined region of pixels and assigns a density value to that pixel. The remaining, unsampled pixels of the region are then allocated density values based on the value of the sampled pixel using either a simple algorithm or an extrapolation algorithm. This improved arrangement provides more precise information about the sampled image than a prior art technique of merely enlarging each pixel by a predetermined factor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 18, 1996
    Inventor: Martin Annis
  • Patent number: 5493596
    Abstract: A high-energy X-ray inspection system comprises an X-ray source for generating high energy X rays for inspecting the contents of large objects. The source is contained within an enclosure having an integrally-formed precollimator device that limits the radiation emitted from the source to form a "fan-beam" of X rays. A novel rotating cylindrical collimator converts the fan-beam into a pencil-beam of X rays, which is further limited by a fixed-slit collimator. The high-energy pencil-beam penetrates the entire area of an object and is intercepted by a detector, which transforms the X rays into image data for presentation on a display screen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: February 20, 1996
    Inventor: Martin Annis