The X-Cam Project

Overview Webcams Software Results
Overview PERT Optical Math
Olin-NASA Research Olin College NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

X-Cam Home

Our team originally started by working on two projects: the construction of an inexpensive x-ray imaging device (X-Cam) and the development of a method by which conical foils can be lined up concentrically to focus x-rays on a detector (ISPS). Due to a number of factors that are detailed in the ISPS portion of this site, we concentrated our efforts on making a cheap X-ray webcam that would be easy to use, feature-rich and effective.



The rationale behind the X-Cam is simple: scientists at NASA occasionally need a simple x-ray imaging device for their experiments. Our contact at NASA, Keith Gendreau, told us that it was possible to construct such a device by taking the glass off the CMOS or CCD detector of a webcam and placing the camera in a dark place with a radioactive source. Our goal is to write software that will process the captured frames and extract x-ray events, allowing the scientists at NASA to analyze the radiation on their computers.


Our minimum goals were to: hack a webcam to detect x-rays, visualize the x-ray events and output the data (position and time of x-ray events) to an ASCII file. These were all successfully achieved by our team this summer - more on this in the X-cam section of the site. Our final XCam analysis program can be downloaded by clicking here.