Glasgow Uni spin-out that uses cosmic rays to create 3D images shares in £700k funding

A University of Glasgow spin-out venture that uses cosmic rays to create detailed 3D images of shielded structures is sharing in £700,000 of fresh funding.

Lynkeos Technology, which was founded in 2016, is one of ten organisations to benefit from funding from the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). Lynkeos won the support after a successful bid for the NDA’s remote monitoring of sensitive sites competition, which sought new ways to remotely collect data on assets, infrastructure and the surrounding environment. The NDA is charged with cleaning up the UK’s 17 earliest nuclear sites safely and cost-effectively.

Lynkeos’ technology harnesses the unique properties of cosmic rays to create non-invasive images of the interiors of structures. It was spun out of fundamental nuclear physics research work carried out at the University of Glasgow’s School of Physics & Astronomy.

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Cosmic rays are charged subatomic particles which reach the earth from space. When the rays collide with the nuclei of the gases found in the planet’s atmosphere, the impact releases particles known as muons. After the muons strike objects on earth, they are deflected very slightly from their course. Collecting deflection data on a computer allows the creation of a sophisticated 3D picture of the object and its structure.

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David Mahon of Lynkeos and the University of Glasgow’s School of Physics & Astronomy said: “We’re pleased to have won the backing of DASA and NDA for our muography technology, which has already proven its value for passive imaging in challenging environments with a number of commercial partners. The funding will help us to build a more portable version of our muon imaging equipment which is fully powered by batteries and can be more easily deployed in the field. That will help users to build images of structures in remote locations or in challenging environments.”

Andrew Gray, innovation delivery manager at NDA, added: “We are excited to be working with DASA on this competition which has generated a huge amount of interest across many different sectors. The competition will support the development of new technologies for remote sensing and application of novel approaches which will enable us to monitor our large and geographically distributed estate.”

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David Mahon of Lynkeos and the University of Glasgow’s School of Physics & Astronomy: 'The funding will help us to build a more portable version of our muon imaging equipment.'

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