Institute for Photon Science and Synchrotron Radiation


UFOUltra-fast X-ray Imaging of Scientific Processes with On-line Assessment and Data-driven Process Control

Progress in recent years concerning X-ray optics, detector technology, and the tremendous increase of processing speed of commodity computational architectures gives rise to a paradigm shift in synchrotron X-ray imaging. The UFO/UFOII projects aim to enable a new type of smart experiment using the vast computational power of massively parallel computation units: On-line assessment of sample dynamics will enable active image-based control, allow an unprecedented image quality, and will provide insight into so far inaccessible scientific processes.

A major scientific application for UFO technology is fast X-ray imaging of arthropods. In the scope of the project we developed in vivo X-ray cine-tomography, which enables real-time 4D visualization of fast-moving insect joints.



Digital reconstruction of a 30-million-year old hister beetle. (A) Photograph of the fossil ventrally embedded in a stony matrix. (B) Digital reconstruction showing fossilized beetle (green) and matrix (brown). (C) Beetle digitally isolated from the stone, revealing well-preserved morphology hidden by the matrix. (D) Perspective view of the fossil showing parts of exoskeleton, tracheal network, alimentary canal and genitals. From: Schwermann, A.H., dos Santos Rolo, T., Caterino, M.S., Bechly, G., Schmied, H., Baumbach, T. & van de Kamp, T., “Preservation of three-dimensional anatomy in phosphatized fossil arthropods enriches evolutionary inference”, eLife 5 (2016) e12129.

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