The iNSIde View | North Star Imaging

The iNSIde View

North Star Imaging Blog

Advantages of Using Advanced Scanning Styles (Vortex, Subpix, and Mosaix)

Anthony Talberg

Technical Trainer


Standard cone beam scanning is sufficient for many applications, but what about the applications where you cannot fit the part in a single detectors view? Physical size of a sample can be a limitation when trying to achieve a given resolution, or you may be dealing with artifact issues. All of these limitations are the reason that NSI has developed advanced scanning styles to overcome issues you may run into when a challenging application comes in.Vortex scanning is a commonly used scanning style by our NSI experts when a sample is very tall in one direction, such as a baseball bat. When looking for measurement…

New Guy to NDT

Ross Johnson

Sales Representative


My name is Ross Johnson and I am the “New Guy” to NDT. Now when I say “new” I mean BRAND NEW. After college I started a woodworking business and for a few years I built everything and anything from skateboards to banjo necks. I had jobs in machine shops running Bridgeport’s and lathes and then I moved into Product Development. My time in Quality Control was always limited to comparators, CMM and gages. And because there were never any requirements for non-destructive testing in our industry, I never learned about the different types of NDT. My first experience with X-ray was the X-ray I had of my broken pinky…

BEAM HARDENING – WHAT IS IT AND HOW TO REDUCE IT

Guy Tolley & Sheng Yue

UK Sales and Inspection Services


X-ray micro computed tomography (micro-CT) is a powerful tool for material characterization as it can non-destructively and non-invasively image the internal structure of an object. This enables the wide range of characterization and inspection applications in the areas of biomedical, aerospace, automotive, and many more.With the recent development of novel reconstruction algorithms, we can not only image the object in 3D but also record how its structure is varying over a period (i.e. 4D imaging, as a software add-on offered by NSI).In a typical computed tomography (CT) set-up, a micro-CT image is generated…

Should I scan my whole sample or just a local area?

Shaun Coughlin

Inspection Services Lab Technician


Before choosing an area to scan on your sample you must first have an idea of what you are looking for, because you will need enough resolution to see the area you are interested in. If you have a sample with a 40 micrometer defect, you’ll want to have multiple pixels to represent that defect. Often times the defect size in the sample is not known, but an estimate based on your sample knowledge is very helpful in this process. If your full sample size is 2 inches by 2 inches and you are using a 127 micrometer pixel pitch panel, you can expect to achieve around 7.5X magnification, giving you an estimated…

How many projections do I need for my CT Scan?

Nate DeRoo

Inspection Services Lab Technician


When determining the number of projections you need for your CT scan you must first know some information about the sample that you are scanning. Samples with complex geometry will require more projections than samples with simple geometry. The reason for this is that if the sample has a flat surface we must get a projection during the CT scan that lines up with that flat surface in order for us to get a reconstruction that shows that surface as flat. If you do not get a projection that shows the flat surface in the scan, you will see that surface as bowed or curved slightly in the reconstruction. If the sample that…

Optimizing Image Signal to Noise Ratio Using Frame Averaging

Brett Muehlhauser

R&D Technical Fellow - ASNT Level III


When performing Digital Radiography and Computed Tomography, a common issue all of us deal with is the balancing of exposure time and signal to noise ratio (SNR). SNR simply compares the level of the desired signal to the level of the undesirable background noise within an image. SNR is therefore the result of dividing the average (mean) signal by the variation (standard deviation)

Computed Tomography, The Modern Engineer’s Multi-Tool

Derek Watkins

President & Chief Engineer, Nth-Level, LLC


In today’s competitive global market, engineers are faced with the ever growing challenge of balancing the functionality, complexity, reliability, safety, aesthetics and cost of a product’s design while bringing it to market faster than anyone has done before. Digital radiography (DR) and Computed Tomography (CT) give the modern engineer tools like no other. Analysis, reverse engineering, model building and communication all benefit from DR &CT X-ray technology.

Key Variables For Contrast Sensitivity

Wes Wren

Sales Manager


There are a number of variables that contribute to improved contrast sensitivity in a sample:1. FACTOR: SAMPLE THICKNESS- Sample thickness is a vital part in determining what the contrast sensitivity will be. When acquiring two data sets of the same material, and scanning them at the same resolutions, it is clear that the thinner sample shows better contrast sensitivity on a similar void then the thicker sample. 2. FACTOR: MATERIAL DENSITY- Density of material is a key factor in determining whether the contrast…

7 Frequently Asked Questions about CT Scanning

Ben Connors

Inspection Services Manager


 1.       Can I scan my part? To answer this we need to ensure we are focused and optimized in the right areas by digging deeper in to the goals of the project.  First, we review the physical size of the sample, because smaller samples and more localized areas of interest will yield higher resolution data sets. Systems can be as small as desktop and as large as a walk in vault, each with its own capability…


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