Borehole Muon Detector

MistyWest miniaturized prototype muon tomographers that harness cosmic rays from space and are capable of providing x-ray-like visibility up to 1 km beneath the Earth’s surface.


Humans have mined the Earth for centuries in order to extract minerals and metals that can improve our everyday lives. Even as the planet works to transition to clean energy, the demand for minerals and metals required for wind, solar, geothermal power, and electrification technologies remains – and there is a looming shortfall in critical minerals needed to transition to a sustainable future.

Ideon Technologies believes we can access our natural assets more responsibly, and is working with mining companies and industry allies to locate and access important new mineral deposits in a more precise and less invasive way, and with a higher level of confidence.

As a world pioneer in the application of cosmic-ray muon tomography, Ideon is enabling sub-surface mineral discovery by mapping the intensity of muons underground, measuring rock density in a targeted search area and providing x-ray-like visibility up to 1 km beneath the Earth’s surface.

The Solution

MistyWest was brought on to develop the next generation of Ideon’s muon detector; a miniaturized, ruggedized system that can be reliably installed in boreholes at depths up to 1km beneath the earth’s surface for months at a time – and without failure.

Drawing on specialized expertise in engineering physics, MistyWest miniaturized the electronics of a benchtop detector from 1x1x1m down to ⌀ 10cm by 3m, enabling a borehole detector technology that was manufacturable.


10 field-deployable prototype muon detectors were delivered in an accelerated development schedule of 12 months, reducing Ideon’s time to market by 1-2 years. A revised production run for an additional 40 units for deployment in 2022 was executed shortly after.

MistyWest has assisted Ideon with building their own internal engineering team, as well as significantly contributed to a successful $13M CAD Digital Supercluster Application. The technology developed by our team enabled Ideon’s successful $16M USD Series A lead by Playground Global. Their Subsurface Intelligence Platform have been recognized with the Governor General’s Innovation Award from the Rideau Hall Foundation.

Successful imaging results from the world’s first borehole muon tomography project

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