The data workflow in the experimental X-ray tomography has---with new X-ray sources, detectors, and experiments---become very large. For example, one manuscript may rely on 50 tomography volumes, each about 5 GB in size. To process and organize this workflow, we are examining VisTrails (www.vistrails.org).
Butler (LSU) led a W.M. Keck Foundation application which was funded in December, 2013. The project, "Development of a Laboratory X-ray Tomography System with Stationary Sample and Phase Contrast Imaging" has both hardware and software components. A subcontract was given to the VisTrails group at New York University. With their help, we are converting our Mathematica codes into VisTrails modules and executable workflows. The impact areas are:
- More effective use of the HPC resources for tomography data processing.
- Data reduction with HPC running VisTrails, and selected subvolumes loaded onto multiple iPad minis for comparison and inspection, especially with our industrial collaborators.
- Small business development. The X-ray optics used in our new imaging systems are not easily available, so we are attempting to make our own company. An NSF STTR proposal "STTR Phase I:Microfabrication of X-ray Optics for Low-Dose and Phase Contrast Imaging" was submitted June, 2014. If funded, this project will use our VisTrails workflows to assess the new X-ray optics. We should note, however, that according to the awards database (www.sbir.gov/past-awards), of the roughly 500 NSF STTR awards from 1998-present, no awards have gone to a Louisiana startup.