A major restriction of tomographic imaging is the time it takes to collect a complete data set. For instance, during the image acquisition, the object must remain in the same state, or else there will be blurring in the reconstructed image. While this is no problem for static objects, like the corn kernels above, it can be a major challenge for operating fuel cells. With the NIF's a-Si flat panel detector, a tomographic image set of a specially designed fuel cell can be collected in about 20 minutes with a volume resolution (voxel) of (0.127 mm)3. This is a short enough time so that the fuel cell can remain in a nearly steady state. Using thick “soft goods” (thicker than would be used in automotive applications) it is possible to measure the water gradient along the thickness of the gas diffusion media. The image below shows the NIF's first attempt at tomographic image of an operating PEFC.
>>back to NIF Facility