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17 October 2012 X-ray beam hardening correction by minimizing reprojection distance
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Abstract
We address the problem of tomographic image quality degradation due to the effects of beam hardening when using a polychromatic X-ray source. Beam hardening refers to the preferential attenuation of low-energy (or soft) X-rays resulting in a beam with a higher average energy (i.e., harder). In projection images, thin or low-Z materials appear more dense relative to thick or higher-Z materials. This misrepresentaion produces artifacts in the reconstructed image such as cupping and streaking.

Our method involves a post-acquisition software correction that applies a beam-hardening correction curve to remap the linearised projection intensities. The curve is modelled by an eighth-order polynomial and assumes an average material for the object. The process to determine the best correction curve requires precisely 8 reconstructions and re-projections of the experiment data. The best correction curve is defined as that which generates a projection set p that minimises the reprojection distance. Reprojection distance is defined as the L2 norm of the difference between p, a set of projections, and RR†p, the result after p is reconstructed and then reprojected, i.e., ║RR†pp2. Here R denotes the projection operator and R† is its Moore-Penrose pseudoinverse, i.e., the reconstruction operator.

This technique was designed for single-material objects and in this case the calculated curve matches that determined experimentally. However, this technique works very well for multiple-material objects where the resulting curve is a kind of average of all materials present. We show that this technique corrects for both cupping and streaking in tomographic images by including several experimental examples. Note that this correction method requires no knowledge of the X-ray spectrum or materials present and can therefore be applied to old data sets.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Andrew M. Kingston, Glenn R. Myers, and Trond K. Varslot "X-ray beam hardening correction by minimizing reprojection distance", Proc. SPIE 8506, Developments in X-Ray Tomography VIII, 85061D (17 October 2012); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.928883
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