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Recent progress in 3-D imaging of sea freight containers

: Fuchs, T.; Schön, T.; Dittmann, J.; Sukowski, F.; Hanke, R.


Chimenti, D.E.:
41st Annual Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation. Vol.34 : Boise, Idaho, 20-25 July 2014, QNDE 2014
Woodbury, N.Y.: AIP, 2015 (AIP Conference Proceedings 1650)
ISBN: 978-0-7354-1292-7
Annual Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation (QNDE) <41, 2014, Boise/Idaho>
Fraunhofer IIS ()

The inspection of very large objects like sea freight containers with X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) is an emerging technology. A complete 3-D CT scan of a see-freight container takes several hours. Of course, this is too slow to apply it to a large number of containers. However, the benefits of a 3-D CT for sealed freight are obvious: detection of potential threats or illicit cargo without being confronted with legal complications or high time consumption and risks for the security personnel during a manual inspection. Recently distinct progress was made in the field of reconstruction of projections with only a relatively low number of angular positions. Instead of today's 500 to 1000 rotational steps, as needed for conventional CT reconstruction techniques, this new class of algorithms provides the potential to reduce the number of projection angles approximately by a factor of 10. The main drawback of these advanced iterative methods is the high consumption for numerical processing. But as computational power is getting steadily cheaper, there will be practical applications of these complex algorithms in a foreseeable future. In this paper, we discuss the properties of iterative image reconstruction algorithms and show results of their application to CT of extremely large objects scanning a sea-freight container. A specific test specimen is used to quantitatively evaluate the image quality in terms of spatial and contrast resolution and depending on different number of projections.