Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Los Alamos wins three R&D 100 awards

A compact and portable x-ray imaging system was one of the awardees
August 1, 2013
MiniMAX is a battery powered, digital x-ray imaging system that is completely self-contained, lightweight, compact and portable

MiniMAX is a completely self-contained, lightweight, compact and portable x-ray imaging system


  • Community Programs Office Director
  • Kurt Steinhaus
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Considered the “Oscars of Innovation” within the research community, the R&D 100 Awards are given each year to “recognize the 100 most technologically significant products introduced into the marketplace over the past year.”

“The innovation and creativity shown in this year’s awards is truly inspiring. It gives me great confidence in the Laboratory’s intellectual vitality and ongoing role in national security science. Congratulations to our researchers and their partners,” said Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charles McMillan.

A digital X-ray imager for field use

MiniMAX is a battery powered, digital x-ray imaging system that is completely self-contained, lightweight, compact and portable. Its applications include homeland security (postal inspection of suspicious packages and explosive ordnance disposal), nondestructive testing, weld inspection, disaster relief (to triage broken bones and confirm dental X-rays) and for field and veterinary medicine. (Joint entry with Los Alamos, Leica Camera AG, JDS Uniphase and JENOPTIK Optical Systems LLC.)

Nuclear fission for spacecraft

KiloPower uses a nuclear fission system as a heat source that transfers heat via a heat pipe to a small Stirling engine-based power convertor to produce electricity from uranium. With KiloPower, it is possible for NASA and other government and industrial organizations to continue developing probes and spacecraft for the exploration of deep space. (Joint entry with Los Alamos, NASA Glenn Research Center and National Security Technologies, LLC.)

Cosmic ray muons for contraband detection

Multi-Mode Passive Detection System (MMPDS) is a scanning device using muon particles from cosmic rays for quickly detecting unshielded to heavily shielded nuclear and radiological threats as well as explosives and other contraband. (Joint entry with Los Alamos and Decision Sciences International Corporation.)

A history of success

Since 1978 when it first competed, Los Alamos has won 129 of the prestigious R&D100 awards that celebrate the top 100 proven technological advances of the year as judged by R&D Magazine. These technologies include innovative new materials, chemistry breakthroughs, biomedical products, consumer items, testing equipment, and high-energy physics.

In the years since 1995, winning innovations have returned more than $45 million in funding to Los Alamos in the form of Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, Work for Others, User Facility Agreements and licenses. An estimated 80 patent awards have been associated with winners with many more patents pending. Some 25 percent of LANL's commercial licenses and 35 percent of noncommercial licenses can be attributed to R&D 100 winners.

To view the full list of winners, go here.

For more information on R&D Magazine, go here.