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Development of a fast multi-line x-ray CT detector for NDT

: Hofmann, T.; Nachtrab, F.; Schlechter, T.; Neubauer, H.; Mühlbauer, J.; Schröpfer, S.; Ernst, J.; Firsching, M.; Schweiger, T.; Oberst, M.; Meyer, A.; Uhlmann, N.

Postprint (PDF; )

Journal of Instrumentation 10 (2015), Art. T04002, 12 pp.
ISSN: 1748-0221
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IIS ()

Typical X-ray detectors for non-destructive testing (NDT) are line detectors or area detectors, like e.g. flat panel detectors. Multi-line detectors are currently only available in medical Computed Tomography (CT) scanners.
Compared to flat panel detectors, line and multi-line detectors can achieve much higher frame rates. This allows time-resolved 3D CT scans of an object under investigation. Also, an improved image quality can be achieved due to reduced scattered radiation from object and detector themselves. Another benefit of line and multi-line detectors is that very wide detectors can be assembled easily, while flat panel detectors are usually limited to an imaging field with a size of approx. 40 × 40 cm2 at maximum. The big disadvantage of line detectors is the limited number of object slices that can be scanned simultaneously. This leads to long scan times for large objects. Volume scans with a multi-line detector are much faster, but with almost similar image quality. Due to the promising properties of multi-line detectors their application outside of medical CT would also be very interesting for NDT. However, medical CT multi-line detectors are optimized for the scanning of human bodies. Many non-medical applications require higher spatial resolutions and/or higher X-ray energies. For those non-medical applications we are developing a fast multi-line X-ray detector. In the scope of this work, we present the current state of the development of the novel detector, which includes several outstanding properties like an adjustable curved design for variable focus-detector-distances, conserving nearly uniform perpendicular irradiation over the entire detector width. Basis of the detector is a specifically designed, radiation hard CMOS imaging sensor with a pixel pitch of 200 μ m. Each pixel has an automatic in-pixel gain adjustment, which allows for both: a very high sensitivity and a wide dynamic range. The final detector is planned to have 256 lines of pixels. By using a modular assembly of the detector, the width can be chosen as multiples of 512 pixels. With a frame rate of up to 300 frames/s (full resolution) or 1200 frame/s (analog binning to 400 μ m pixel pitch) time-resolved 3D CT applications become possible. Two versions of the detector are in development, one with a high resolution scintillator and one with a thick, structured and very efficient scintillator (pitch 400 μ m). This way the detector can even work with X-ray energies up to 450 kVp.