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Proceedings Paper

Large area x-ray detectors for cargo radiography
Author(s): C. Bueno; D. Albagli; J. Bendahan; D. Castleberry; C. Gordon; F. Hopkins; W. Ross
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Paper Abstract

Large area x-ray detectors based on phosphors coupled to flat panel amorphous silicon diode technology offer significant advances for cargo radiologic imaging. Flat panel area detectors provide large object coverage offering high throughput inspections to meet the high flow rate of container commerce. These detectors provide excellent spatial resolution when needed, and enhanced SNR through low noise electronics. If the resolution is reduced through pixel binning, further advances in SNR are achievable. Extended exposure imaging and frame averaging enables improved x-ray penetration of ultra-thick objects, or "select-your-own" contrast sensitivity at a rate many times faster than LDAs. The areal coverage of flat panel technology provides inherent volumetric imaging with the appropriate scanning methods. Flat panel area detectors have flexible designs in terms of electronic control, scintillator selection, pixel pitch, and frame rates. Their cost is becoming more competitive as production ramps up for the healthcare, nondestructive testing (NDT), and homeland protection industries. Typically used medical and industrial polycrystalline phosphor materials such as Gd2O2S:Tb (GOS) can be applied to megavolt applications if the phosphor layer is sufficiently thick to enhance x-ray absorption, and if a metal radiator is used to augment the quantum detection efficiency and reduce x-ray scatter. Phosphor layers ranging from 0.2-mm to 1-mm can be "sandwiched" between amorphous silicon flat panel diode arrays and metal radiators. Metal plates consisting of W, Pb or Cu, with thicknesses ranging from 0.25-mm to well over 1-mm can be used by covering the entire area of the phosphor plate. In some combinations of high density metal and phosphor layers, the metal plate provides an intensification of 25% in signal due to electron emission from the plate and subsequent excitation within the phosphor material. This further improves the SNR of the system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 May 2007
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6540, Optics and Photonics in Global Homeland Security III, 65401R (4 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.736076
Show Author Affiliations
C. Bueno, GE Global Research (United States)
D. Albagli, GE Global Research (United States)
J. Bendahan, GE Homeland Protection (United States)
D. Castleberry, GE Global Research (United States)
C. Gordon, GE Global Research (United States)
F. Hopkins, GE Global Research (United States)
W. Ross, GE Global Research (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6540:
Optics and Photonics in Global Homeland Security III
Theodore T. Saito; Daniel Lehrfeld; Michael J. DeWeert, Editor(s)

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