HighTechXL trainee EmmaPalmen gave the Dynaxion pitch, which includes usingCERN’s small quadrupole linear particle accelerator/collider. The goal isto create a better way to scan everything from the 100 billion packagesprojected to be shipped worldwide by 2020 to luggage at the airport.

Palmen cited data thatcurrent scanning technology fails to detect one in five prohibited items. In ashow-stopping moment, Palmen showed the X-ray of a box filled with whatappeared to be drugs. When she opened the box, it turned out to be filled withSchudde Buikjes, small Dutch cookies.

Her point was thatconventional scanning technology including advanced CT scanners can’t tell thedifference between Ecstacy and candy, baby powder and heroin. And anytimethere’s uncertainty, it takes an entire legal process to get permission to openand inspect the package. As e-commerce pushes the shipping volume ever higher,new technology is needed, Palmen said. And that’s Dynaxion.

The Dynaxion scannerutilizes the extremely short wavelength – 10 to the 14th nanometer – of theCERN fast proton beam proton accelerator for far greater resolution thanX-rays, and that’s important in finding dangerous and/or illegal substances.Dynaxion’s scanner concept is also safer for employees than current technology,and that satisfies CERN’s technology transfer requirements for socialaccountability to stakeholders and the public, Palmen added.

“That’s why we believeDynaxion contributes to a safer world,” she said.

The team is working withASML and is in contact with parcel delivery firm DPD Group, based inAschaffenburg, Germany and UPS in the United States. The team is exploringairport security with Eindhoven-based logistics automation giant Vanderlande,part of Toyota Industries Corporation.

The Dynaxion details:

The market: $4 billion alone onparcel screening. Dynaxion projects selling the 3 million euro scanners as wellas recurring payments for maintenance and upgrades.

What they need: The team is raising500,000 euros through government subsidies. They need to hire an additionalphysicist and a business development person.

The goal: The team wants tofinalize the first prototype by the end of 2020, then conduct a pilot projectwith a customer.


The Dynaxion Team includes:


Cor Datema, Netherlands

EmmaPalmen, Netherlands

Sudisna Lenka, India

Ingrid Romeijn,Netherlands

Mirjam Bel, Netherlands



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