Recent advances in cadmium telluride (CdTe) energy-discriminating pixelated detectors have enabled the possibility of Multi-Spectral X-ray Computed Tomography (MSXCT) to incorporate spectroscopic information into CT. MultiX ME 100 V2 is a CdTe-based spectroscopic x-ray detector array capable of recording energies from 20 to 160 keV in 1.1 keV energy bin increments. Hardware and software have been designed to perform radiographic and computed tomography tasks with this spectroscopic detector. Energy calibration is examined using the end-point energy of a bremsstrahlung spectrum and radioisotope spectral lines. When measuring the spectrum from Am-241 across 500 detector elements, the standard deviation of the peak-location and FWHM measurements are ± 0.4 and ± 0.6 keV, respectively. As these values are within the energy bin size (1.1 keV), detector elements are consistent with each other. The count rate is characterized, using a nonparalyzable model with a dead time of 64 ± 5 ns. This is consistent with the manufacturer’s quoted per detector-element linear-deviation at 2 Mpps (million photons per sec) of 8.9 % (typical) and 12 % (max). When comparing measured and simulated spectra, a low-energy tail is visible in the measured data due to the spectral response of the detector. If no valid photon detections are expected in the low-energy tail, then a background subtraction may be applied to allow for a possible first-order correction. If photons are expected in the low-energy tail, a detailed model must be implemented. A radiograph of an aluminum step wedge with a maximum height of 20 mm shows an underestimation of attenuation by about 10 % at 60 keV. This error is due to partial energy deposition from higher energy (>60 keV) photons into a lower-energy (∼60 keV) bin, reducing the apparent attenuation. A radiograph of a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) cylinder taken using a bremsstrahlung spectrum from an x-ray voltage of 100 kV filtered by 1.3 mm Cu is reconstructed using Abel inversion. As no counts are expected in the low energy tail, a first order background correction is applied to the spectrum. The measured linear attenuation coefficient (LAC) is within 10% of the expected value in the 60 to 100 keV range. Below 60 keV, low counts in the corrected spectrum and partial energy deposition from incident photons of energy greater than 60 keV into energy bins below 60 keV impact the LAC measurements. This report ends with a demonstration of the tomographic capability of the system. The quantitative understanding of the detector developed in this report will enable further study in evaluating the system for characterization of an object’s chemical make-up for industrial and security purposes.
In a recent journal article [IEEE Trans. Nuc. Sci., 63(1), 341-350, 2016], we introduced a novel method that decomposes dual-energy X-ray CT (DECT) data into electron density (ρe) and a new effective-atomic-number called Ze in pursuit of system-independent characterization of materials. The Ze of a material, unlike the traditional Zeff, is defined relative to the actual X-ray absorption properties of the constituent atoms in the material, which are based on published X-ray cross sections. Our DECT method, called SIRZ (System-Independent ρe, Ze), uses a set of well-known reference materials and an understanding of the system spectral response to produce accurate and precise estimates of the X-ray-relevant basis variables (ρe, Ze) regardless of scanner or spectra in diagnostic energy ranges (30 to 200 keV). Potentially, SIRZ can account for and correct spectral changes in a scanner over time and, because the system spectral response is included in the technique, additional beam-hardening correction is not needed. Results show accuracy (<3%) and precision (<2%) values that are much better than prior methods on a wide range of spectra. In this paper, we will describe how to convert DECT system output into (ρe, Ze) features and we present our latest SIRZ results compared with ground truth for a set of materials.
We performed experiments and data analysis to determine how powder morphology and particle size affect X-ray
attenuation (CT number or CTN). These experiments were performed on a CT system with an isotropic resolution of
(0.15 mm)3, and an endpoint energy of 160kV. Powders with effective atomic number (Ze) within ±0.2 of water were
found to have CTN more directly related to electron density than to bulk physical density. Variations in mean particle
size ranging between 2 μm and 44 μm were found to have no effect on specimen mean CTN.
The requirements for beam and target alignment for successful ignition experiments on the National Ignition Facility
(NIF) are stringent: the average of beams to the target must be within 25 μm. Beam and target alignment are achieved
with the Target Alignment Sensor (TAS). The TAS is a precision optical device that is inserted into target chamber
center to facilitate both beam and target alignment. It incorporates two camera views (upper/lower and side) mounted on
each of two stage assemblies (jaws) to view and align the target. It also incorporates a large mirror on each of the two
assemblies to reflect the alignment beams onto the upper/lower cameras for beam alignment. The TAS is located in the
chamber using reference features by viewing it with two external telescope views. The two jaws are adjusted in elevation
to match the desired beam and target alignment locations. For some shot setups, a sequence of TAS positions is required
to achieve the full setup and alignment. In this paper we describe the TAS, the characterization of the TAS coordinates
for beam and target alignment, and summarize pointing shots that demonstrate the accuracy of beam-target alignment.
The 192 laser beams in the National Ignition Facility (NIF) are automatically aligned to the target-chamber center using
images obtained through charged-coupled-device (CCD) cameras. Several of these cameras are in and around the target
chamber during an experiment. Current experiments for the National Ignition Campaign are attempting to achieve
nuclear fusion. Neutron yields from these high-energy fusion shots expose the alignment cameras to neutron radiation.
The present work explores modeling and predicting laser alignment performance degradation due to neutron radiation
effects, and introduces techniques to mitigate performance degradation. Camera performance models have been created
based on the predicted camera noise from the cumulative neutron fluence at the camera location. We have found that the
effect of the neutron-generated noise for all shots to date have been well within the alignment tolerance of half a pixel,
and image processing techniques can be utilized to reduce the effect even further on the beam alignment to target.
Some diagnostics at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), including the Gamma Reaction History (GRH) diagnostic,
require multiple channels of data to achieve the required dynamic range. These channels need to be
stitched together into a single time series, and they may have non-uniform and redundant time samples. We
chose to apply the popular cubic smoothing spline technique to our stitching problem because we needed a
general non-parametric method. We adapted one of the algorithms in the literature, by Hutchinson and deHoog,
to our needs. The modified algorithm and the resulting code perform a cubic smoothing spline fit to multiple
data channels with redundant time samples and missing data points. The data channels can have different, timevarying,
zero-mean white noise characteristics. The method we employ automatically determines an optimal
smoothing level by minimizing the Generalized Cross Validation (GCV) score. In order to automatically validate
the smoothing level selection, the Weighted Sum-Squared Residual (WSSR) and zero-mean tests are performed
on the residuals. Further, confidence intervals, both analytical and Monte Carlo, are also calculated. In this
paper, we describe the derivation of our cubic smoothing spline algorithm. We outline the algorithm and test it
with simulated and experimental data.
The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) will routinely
fire high energy shots (approaching 10 kJ per beamline) through the final optics, located on the target
chamber. After a high fluence shot, exceeding 4J/cm2 at 351 nm wavelength, the final optics will be
inspected for laser-induced damage. The FODI (Final Optics Damage Inspection) system has been
developed for this purpose, with requirements to detect laser-induced damage initiation and to track and size
it's the growth to the point at which the optic is removed and the site mitigated. The FODI system is the
"corner stone" of the NIF optic recycle strategy. We will describe the FODI system and discuss the
challenges to make optics inspection a routine part of NIF operations.
Extremely high quality data was acquired using an experimental ultrasound scanner developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory using a 2D ring geometry with up to 720 transmitter/receiver transducer positions. This unique geometry allows reflection and transmission modes and transmission imaging and quantification of a 3D volume using 2D slice data. Standard image reconstruction methods were applied to the data including straight-ray filtered back projection, reflection tomography, and diffraction tomography. Newer approaches were also tested such as full wave, full wave adjoint method, bent-ray filtered backprojection, and full-aperture tomography. A variety of data sets were collected including a formalin-fixed human breast tissue sample, a commercial ultrasound complex breast phantom, and cylindrical objects with and without inclusions. The resulting reconstruction quality of the images ranges from poor to excellent. The method and results of this study are described including like-data reconstructions produced by different algorithms with side-by-side image comparisons. Comparisons to medical B-scan and x-ray CT scan images are also shown. Reconstruction methods with respect to image quality using resolution, noise, and quantitative accuracy, and computational efficiency metrics will also be discussed.
In contrast to standard reflection ultrasound (US), transmission US holds the promise of more thorough tissue characterization by generating quantitative acoustic parameters. We compare results from a conventional US scanner with data acquired using an experimental circular scanner operating at frequencies of 0.3 - 1.5 MHz. Data were obtained on phantoms and a normal, formalin-fixed, excised breast. Both reflection and transmission-based algorithms were used to generate images of reflectivity, sound speed and attenuation.. Images of the phantoms demonstrate the ability to detect sub-mm features and quantify acoustic properties such as sound speed and attenuation. The human breast specimen showed full field evaluation, improved penetration and tissue definition. Comparison with conventional US indicates the potential for better margin definition and acoustic characterization of masses, particularly in the complex scattering environments of human breast tissue. The use of morphology, in the context of reflectivity, sound speed and attenuation, for characterizing tissue, is discussed.
New ultrasound data, obtained with a circular experimental scanner, are compared with data obtained with standard X-ray CT. Ultrasound data obtained by scanning fixed breast tissue were used to generate images of sound speed and reflectivity. The ultrasound images exhibit approximately 1 mm resolution and about 20 dB of dynamic range. All data were obtained in a circular geometry. X-ray CT scans were used to generate X-ray images corresponding to the same 'slices' obtained with the ultrasound scanner. The good match of sensitivity, resolution and angular coverage between the ultrasound and X-ray data makes possible a direct comparison of the three types of images. We present the results of such a comparison for an excised breast fixed in formalin. The results are presented visually using various types of data fusion. A general correspondence between the sound speed, reflectivity and X-ray morphologies is found. The degree to which data fusion can help characterize tissue is assessed by examining the quantitative correlations between the ultrasound and X-ray images.
A novel handheld time-domain array GPR antipersonnel mine detection system prototype has been developed. Using an offset paraboloidal reflector antenna to collimate rays form an ultra-wideband feed, the transmitted microwave impulse is concentrated forward, in front of the antenna structure. The resulting wave is a non-uniform plane wave over the portion of ground be investigated, and is incident at 45 degrees to normal. As such, much of the ground reflect wave is directed further forward, away from the operator, the reflector, and the receiving antennas, thereby reducing clutter. However, the wave transmitted into the ground, which interacts with the target, tends to have significant backscatter returning toward the receiving antennas. These receiving antennas are configured in a 2 by 2 array to provide spatial focusing in both along and cross-track directions. This is accomplished by measuring and comparing the backscattered signal at each receiver in the narrow time window between the times when the ground reflected wave passes the receiver and before this wave re-reflects from the reflector components. 2D FDTD simulation of this parabolic reflector transmitter indicates that it generates a beam with a non-uniform planar wavefront, which scatters form rough ground primarily in the forward direction. The wave transmitted into the ground is also planar, propagating at the angle of refraction, and scattering fairly isotropically from a small penetrable target. This system has been built and tested at LLNL, using a very narrow pulse shape. LLNL's Micro-Impulse Radar (MIR) and custom-built wideband antenna elements operate in the 1.5 to 5 GHz range. One particular advantage of using the MIR module is its low cost: an important feature for mine detectors used in developing countries. Preliminary measured data indicates that the surface clutter is indeed reduced relative to the target signal, and that small non-metallic anti-personnel mines can be reliably detected at burial depths as shallow as 1 inch in both dry.
Current ground penetrating radars (GPR) have been tested for land mine detection, but they have generally been costly and have poor performance. Comprehensive modeling and experimentation must be done to predict the electromagnetic (EM) signatures of mines to access the effect of clutter on the EM signature of the mine, and to understand the merit and limitations of using radar for various mine detection scenarios. This modeling can provide a basis for advanced radar design and detection techniques leading to superior performance. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has developed a radar technology that when combined with comprehensive modeling and detection methodologies could be the basis of an advanced mine detection system. Micropower Impulse Radar (MIR) technology exhibits a combination of properties, including wideband operation, extremely low power consumption, extremely small size and low cost, array configurability, and noise encoded pulse generation. LLNL is in the process of developing an 'optimal' processing algorithm to use with the MIR sensor. In this paper, we use classical numerical models to obtain the signature of mine-like targets and examine the effect of surface roughness on the reconstructed signals. These results are then qualitatively compared to experimental data.
Corrosion of rebar in concrete bridges causes subsurface cracks and is a major cause of structural degradation that necessitates repair or replacement. Early detection of corrosion effects can limit the location and extent of necessary repairs, while providing long-term information about the infrastructure status. Most current detection methods, however, are destructive of the road surface and require closing or restricting traffic while the tests are performed. A ground-penetrating radar imaging system has been designed and developed that will perform the nondestructive evaluation of road-bed cracking at traffic speeds, i.e., without the need to restrict traffic flow. The first-generation system consists of an offset-linear array of 64 impulse radar transceivers and associated electronics housed in a trailer. Computers in the trailer and in the towing vehicle control the data acquisition, processing, and display. Cross-road resolution is three centimeters at up to 30 cm in depth, while down-road resolution depends on speed; 3 cm below 20 mph up to 8 cm at 50 mph. A two-meter-wide path is inspected on each pass over the roadway. In this paper, we describe the design of this system, show preliminary results, and lay out its deployment schedule.
The image reconstruction problem, also known as the inverse Radon transform, for x-ray computed tomography (CT) is found in numerous applications in medicine and industry. The most common algorithm used in these cases is filtered backprojection (FBP), which, while a simple procedure, is time-consuming for large images on any type of computational engine. Specially designed, dedicated parallel processors are commonly used in medical CT scanners, whose results are then passed to a graphics workstation for rendering and analysis. However, a fast direct FBP algorithm can be implemented on modern texture-mapping hardware in current high-end workstation platforms. This is done by casting the FBP algorithm as an image warping operation with summing. Texture- mapping hardware, such as that on the silicon Graphics Reality Engine, shows around 600 times speedup of backprojection over a CPU-based implementation (a 100 Mhz R4400 in our case). This technique has the further advantages of flexibility and rapid programming. In addition, the same hardware can be used for both image reconstruction and for volumetric rendering. Our technique can also be used to accelerate iterative reconstruction algorithms. The hardware architecture also allows more complex operations than straight-ray backprojection if they are required, including fan-beam, cone-beam, and curved ray paths, with little or no speed penalties.
Computed Tomography (CT) using penetrating radiation (x- or gamma-rays) can be used in a number of aircraft applications. This technique results in 3D volumetric attenuation data that is related to density and effective atomic number. CT is a transmission scanning method that must allow complete access to both sides of the object under inspection; the radiation source and detection systems must surround the object. This normally precludes the inspection of some large or planar (large aspect ratio) parts of the aircraft. However, we are pursuing recent limited-data techniques using object model information to obtain useful data from the partial information acquired. As illustrative examples, we describe how CT was instrumental in the analysis of particular aircraft components. These include fuselage panels, single crystal turbine blades, and aluminum-lithium composites.
The amount of data generated by computed tomography (CT) scanners is enormous, making the image reconstruction operation slow, especially for 3-D and limited-data scans requiring iterative algorithms. The inverse Radon transform, commonly used for CT image reconstructions from projections, and the forward Radon transform are computationally burdensome for single-processor computer architectures. Fortunately, the forward Radon transform and the back projection operation (involved in the inverse Radon transform) are easily calculated using a parallel pipelined processor array. Using this array the processing time for the Radon transform and the back projection can be reduced dramatically. This paper describes a unified, pipelined architecture for an integrated circuit that computes both the forward Radon transform and the back projection operation at a 10 MHz data rate in a pipelined processor array. The trade-offs between computational complexity and reconstruction error of different interpolation schemes are presented along with an evaluation of the architecture's noise characteristics due to finite word lengths. The fully pipelined architecture is designed to reconstruct 1024 pixel by 1024 pixel images using up to 1024 projections over 180 degrees. The chip contains three pipelined data-paths, each five stages long, and uses a single multiplier.