Honors Gallery

X-Ray Toolkit

Award: Excellence in Technology Transfer

Year: 2016

Award Type:

Region: Mid-Continent

Sandia National Laboratories (SNL)

The X-Ray Toolkit (XTK) is an image processing and analysis software that helps emergency responders better perform in the high-stress, time-critical mission of disabling improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

It has very quickly become the standard in the field, in part due to its ease of use and the fact that it was built specifically to support the needs of explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) personnel. A unique multifaceted deployment model also contributed to its rapid and widespread acceptance in the field.

The software was developed to replace multiple imaging software packages that EOD teams were using with their x-ray scanners. After spending hundreds of hours with EOD personnel learning about their workflow, Sandia developers designed an application that is intuitive, versatile, compatible with most x-ray scanners, and better suited to the needs of EOD technicians.

Sandia also designed the patented Grid-Aim system as an optional hardware accessory kit for the XTK. Grid-Aim allows users to precisely disrupt and disable the internal components of an IED while preserving the rest of the device for evidence and minimizing damage to surrounding property and infrastructure.

In order to get the XTK out to those who could use and benefit from this lifesaving technology, the Sandia team came up with a diverse licensing strategy to foster deployment. From offering no-cost end user licenses and free test and evaluation licenses for scanner manufacturers, to encouraging adoption of the new software by supporting training by multiple organizations, the technology process was creative and multifaceted.

A unique multifaceted deployment model also contributed to its rapid and widespread acceptance in the field.

Creative technology transfer methods have helped the XTK to be rapidly adopted by the emergency response community. It is estimated that the XTK is now in the hands of over 20,000 end users in most of the 467 recognized non-military bomb squads across the U.S. It has even been adopted by the FBI's Hazardous Devices School for all its courses.

By offering the software at no cost and developing efficient ways to supply the application, hardware accessories, and training, Sandia's XTK has saved the emergency response community millions of dollars in licensing fees and training costs. Even more importantly, the XTK is saving the lives of emergency responders and those they serve and protect.

Team Members:

Dr. Bob Westervelt, Scott Gladwell, Justin Garretson, Clint Hobart, Mark Monda, Josh Cordova