Microscope to improve safety

The ATSB has acquired a new scanning electron microscope (SEM) – a JEOL JSM-IT500 –  to replace a 14-year-old instrument that has been used extensively to help improve transport safety by forensically examining and analysing components from transport safety occurrences.

New microscope to improve safety

ATSB Chief Commissioner Greg Hood said the purchase of the new SEM was an important investment in maintaining and improving the Bureau’s capabilities.

“Electron microscopy has been a key part of the ATSB investigation capabilities for many years,” Mr Hood said. “Our investigators use electron microscopy for forensic examination and failure analysis of components. By examining material at tremendous magnification, our investigators can identify minute details that can provide invaluable insight into the factors contributing to these occurrences.”

The SEM, manufactured by JEOL in Japan, took two days to install and calibrate at the ATSB’s Canberra headquarters, and is the first model of its type in Australia.

“Our Transport Safety Investigators are very excited about  the microscope’s potential,” Mr Hood said. “They have already found it is faster, easier to use than our previous equipment and the quality of the images is better. In addition to its capabilities, the SEM is going to help make transport safer.”

Last update 16 November 2018