An integral part of the national hydrotest program, the DARHT is the world's most powerful x-ray machine. DARHT consists of two electron accelerators oriented at right angles to one another. Each accelerator creates a powerful electron beam that is focused onto a metal target which converts the kinetic energy of the electron beam into high energy x or gamma-rays. The x-ray dose from one DARHT accelerator is the equivalent of 100,000 chest x-rays.
DARHT is used to image a full-scale non-nuclear weapon mockup as it implodes. A special dual-axis containment system is used in all hydrotests conducted at DARHT to eliminate release of any potentially hazardous material to the environment. The multiple x-ray pulses generated (one from Axis I and four from Axis II) produce multiple-view radiographic images of the imploding test object, in which materials are moving at 10,000+ miles per hour.