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Phase 1: Initial development
As our current experiments towards Focus Fusion yield data, we will search for the ideal parameters for generating X-rays. With the knowledge of these parameters, we will be able to begin experiments aimed at optimizing X-Scan. We have already achieved the basic x-ray output required, but will learn more about how to fine tune the output. Phase 1 is essentially complete.
Phase 2: Development of complete inspection product
We now need to work with a commercial partner to integrate the source into a complete inspection system with appropriate detectors and an imaging system. The partner will either be a company that specializes in detectors and NDI products or a company with substantial resources that wishes to enter this market. We will support this partner as an R&D provider as well as licensor, helping them to refine the Compton scattering technique for use with their detectors. We do not foresee significant technical challenges here. In addition to up-front capital commitments by our partners, and a possible exchange of equity interests, we foresee royalties or other sharing in revenues. We are open to selling all rights.
The main components of DPF devices (the capacitor banks, the switching system including switches, triggers and power supply, and the vacuum pumps) are all items that are manufactured on a small scale by well-established firms, such as General Atomics for the capacitors and R. E. Beverly for the switches. The only unique components for the DPF are the electrodes themselves, which are quite inexpensive after the initial design expense is recouped. Thus all components of the device will be either off-the-shelf or will be produced with mature and economical techniques. This will make manufacture of X-Scan economical from the start. This manufacture mainly involves assembling the components, which will be done on a contract basis. LPPFusion will not become a manufacturer of final X-Scan systems itself. We estimate that no more than about $4 million per year will be needed to move to a product prototype. Additional money will be required for a marketing campaign. This figure is relatively modest because of the relatively small number of customers (state departments of transportation, large oil companies, etc.) that will have to be contacted.
Phase 3: Marketing and licensing of final product
Once we have entered our primary market and established a secure presence there, we may also license the technology to other manufactures with whom we do not expect to compete, for example in various foreign markets where we would have trouble establishing the necessary relationships with local customers. Historically, small companies that enter foreign markets with local partners fare better. In addition to geographic licensing, we anticipate executing vertical applications licenses to companies in fields apart from our core focus of non-destructive inspection.