Investigation of innovative radiation imaging method and system for radiological environments

H. Nguyen, J. Joung, Y. Kim, Kisung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

We have developed a novel imaging method that can be applied to most applications in the field of radiological environment imaging. It resolves either two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D) distributions of radioactive sources in applications for homeland security, environmental monitoring, radiation contamination monitoring, baggage inspection, nuclear power plant monitoring, and more. The proposed imaging method uses a simple detector configured as a radiation-counting detector with spectroscopic capabilities. The detector module consists of two components: a flat field-of-view (FOV) collimator with a 30° FOV opening and a typical single-channel radiation detector made of a 2. in.×2. in. NaI(Tl) scintillator coupled to a 2 in photomultiplier tube (PMT). This simple detector module makes it possible to develop a cost-effective imaging system and provide design freedom in extending the system configuration to include one-dimensional (1D) or 2D detector-array shapes to meet the needs of various applications.One of most distinctive features of the new imaging method is that it uses only a pair of 2D projections to obtain a 3D reconstruction. The projections are measured by the proposed detector module at two positions orthogonal to one another; the measured projections are manipulated to enhance the resolution of the reconstructed 3D image. The imaging method comprises several steps performed consecutively: projection measurement, energy re-binning, projection separation, resolution and attenuation recovery, image reconstruction, and image consolidation and quantitative analysis. The resolution and attenuation recovery step provides the most distinctive and important processing by which the poor quality of projection data is enhanced. Such poor quality is mainly due to the use of a simple detector with a wide-opening flat FOV collimator.Simulation and experimental studies have been conducted to validate the proposed method. In this investigation, we demonstrated imaging of 3D space, which is the most general and fundamental task in the field of radiological environment imaging. The experiments show quite promising results. In addition, the method is able to provide quantitative information about each distribution, including isotope identification, activity concentration, and the size and shape of radiation sources. Our future studies include employing other detector modules and collimators and developing systems for other applications, such as container truck and conveyor inspections.

Keywords

  • Gaussian deconvolution
  • Homeland security
  • Radiation imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation

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