A Novel High Resolution Photon Counting Detector for X-Ray Inspections
Small Business Information
44 Hunt Street, Watertown, MA, -
AbstractCurrent state-of-the-art X-ray imaging detectors use energy integration, where the simple integration of X-ray events during the exposure period forms images. Unfortunately, such indiscriminate operation is sub-optimal for digital radiography or CT imaging because of its inability to reject scatter, thus reducing contrast in reconstructed images, and the limited resolution of the detectors, which results in image blurring. These deleterious effects are particularly problematic for high-energy X-ray inspection systems for munitions, where important small-scale defects on the order of 100 to 250 microns are easily obscured due to the prevalent scattering. However, a new generation of X-ray detector to be developed during Phase II is expected to have photon counting and energy recording ability, even when incident flux is very high. The use of such detectors will improve resolution and contrast in images, while significantly enhancing their signal-to-noise ratio, and assist in identifying material compositions. Our Phase I research successfully demonstrated the feasibility of developing such a detector based on a semiconductor X-ray sensor coupled to a novel digital pixel sensor readout. For X-ray energies typically used in inspection systems, this detector would provide high efficiency, high resolution, and photon counting capability with at least five levels of energy discrimination.
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