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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A fast method for optical simulation of flood maps of light-sharing detector modules

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Optical simulation of the detector module level is highly desired for Position Emission Tomography (PET) system design. Commonly used simulation toolkits such as GATE are not efficient in the optical simulation of detector modules with complicated light-sharing configurations, where a vast amount of photons need to be tracked. We present a fast approach based on a simplified specular reflectance model and a structured light-tracking algorithm to speed up the photon tracking in detector modules constructed with polished finish and specular reflector materials. We simulated conventional block detector designs with different slotted light guide patterns using the new approach and compared the outcomes with those from GATE simulations. While the two approaches generated comparable flood maps, the new approach was more than 200-600 times faster. The new approach has also been validated by constructing a prototype detector and comparing the simulated flood map with the experimental flood map. The experimental flood map has nearly uniformly distributed spots similar to those in the simulated flood map. In conclusion, the new approach provides a fast and reliable simulation tool for assisting in the development of light-sharing-based detector modules with a polished surface finish and using specular reflector materials.

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