Digital X-Ray Detector Panel

Artifact Details

The panel was originally developed to help read satellite imagery, but the medical community was able to use the technology for cancer detection as well.

This glass panel is a component of a solid-state detector used in an X-ray imaging device.  Etched onto the panel is an array of about 1,100 x 900 picture elements (“pixels”). Each consists of a field-effect-transistor (FET) switch and a light-detecting diode. X-rays make a separate scintillation material “glow” visible light, reducing the total amount of energy needed to create an image. The pixels on this glass panel accumulate the light generated by the scintillation material, for storage and subsequent readout by the controlling computer. Originally intended for digital mammography applications, this glass panel demonstrated enormous dynamic-range and readout-speed improvements over the charge-coupled-device (CCD) technology it replaces.

Artifact Specs

30.4 cm x 25.3 cm
(L x W)