2013 R&D 100 Winner
LANL MiniMaxX-ray scanners are, even after decades of development, bulky, heavy, expensive and not always reliable. Los Alamos National Laboratory, with the help of several industry experts in optics, has introduced an x-ray device, MiniMAX, that overcomes these limitations. MiniMAX (Miniature, Mobile, Agile X-ray system) is light, portable, relatively inexpensive and robust. A point-and-shoot device that records on conventional storage phosphor screens, it uses no consumables, no chemicals and little power. Several industry leaders in optics contributed hardware to build the system. Leica Camera AG produced the world’s lightest, most compact, 35-mm monochrome digital camera. JDS Uniphase contributed high-performance dichroic filters that have a rejection ratio of more than a billion-to-one. Jenoptik Optics LLC produced a special-purpose, fixed-focus lens for MiniMAX that mixes high resolution with high speed in a lightweight package. These components enable MiniMAX to seamlessly perform a remarkable x-ray to electro-optic conversion.

Minature, mobile, agile x-ray system

Los Alamos National Laboratory
Leica Camera AG
JDS Uniphase
Jenoptik Optics LLC

Development Team

MiniMax LANL development team. (l-r) Scott Watson and Gwynneth Cunningham.


The MiniMAX Development Team
Scott Watson, Principal Developer, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Gwynneth Cunningham, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Stefan Daniel, Leica Camera AG
Sam Gonzales, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Jay Kumler, Jenoptik Optical Systems LLC
Rick Zoborowski, JDS Uniphase