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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Real-Time Free-Moving Active Coded Mask 3D Gamma-Ray Imaging


The ability to localize and map the distribution of gamma-ray emitting radionuclides in 3D has applications ranging from medical imaging to nuclear security. In the case of radiological source search and nuclear contamination remediation, the deployment of freely moving detection systems such as handheld instruments or ground/aerial-based vehicles is critical in overcoming the inverse square law and complex shielding scenarios. Using contextual sensors, these systems can simultaneously generate 3D maps of the surrounding environment and track the position and orientation of the gamma-ray sensitive detectors in that environment. The fusion of contextual scene data and gamma-ray detector data to facilitate real-time 3D gamma-ray image reconstruction has been demonstrated with mobile high purity germanium (HPGe) and CdZnTe-based Compton cameras for gamma-ray energies ranging from a few hundred keV to several MeV. Here we apply this approach for lower energy (50-400 keV) gamma rays, using a handheld CdZnTe-based omnidirectional imaging system and an active coded mask imaging modality. We present our approach to real-time reconstruction using a scene-data-constrained graphics processing unit (GPU)-accelerated list-mode maximum likelihood expectation maximization (MLEM) algorithm and show results from several measurements in the lab and in the field.

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