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Preliminary Monte Carlo simulations of linear accelerators in Time-of-Flight Compton Scatter imaging for cargo security

Calvert, N; Morton, EJ; Speller, RD; (2013) Preliminary Monte Carlo simulations of linear accelerators in Time-of-Flight Compton Scatter imaging for cargo security. Crime Science , 2 (1) ?-?. 10.1186/2193-7680-2-2. Green open access

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Abstract

The economic impact of illicit trade is in the trillions of dollars per year, with a proportion of this trade concealed within cargo containers. The interdiction of this trade relies upon efficient and effective external screening of cargo containers, typically using x rays. The present work introduces a technique of x-ray screening that aims to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of x-ray screening. Traditional X-ray screening of cargo containers is performed using high-energy (MV) transmission imaging or low-energy (kV) Compton scatter imaging to provide two-dimensional images. Two-dimensional images can contain complex, overlapping objects and require significant experience and time to interpret. Time-of-Flight information can be used in conjunction with Compton scatter imaging to provide information about the depth of each Compton scatter interaction, leading to three-dimensional images, reducing false positives and image analysis time. The expected Time-of-Flight from photons scattered back from a set of objects is well defined when the photons are produced with a delta-type (infinitely narrow) pulse duration, however, commercially available linear accelerators used for cargo screening typically have pulse widths of the order of 1 μs. In the present work, the possible use of linear accelerators for Time-of-Flight Compton scatter imaging is investigated using a mixture of analytic and Monte Carlo methods. Ideal data are obtained by convolving a number of wide x-ray pulses (up to 5 μs) with the expected Time-of-Flight from a set of objects using a delta-type pulse. Monte Carlo simulations, using Geant4, have been performed to generate x-ray spectra produced by a linear accelerator. The spectra are then used as the input for detailed Monte Carlo simulations of the Time-of-Flight of photons produced by a single linear accelerator pulse scattering back from a set of objects. Both ideal and Monte Carlo data suggest that Time-of-Flight information can be recovered from a wide linear accelerator pulse, provided that the leading and falling edge of the pulse are sharp. In addition, it has been found that using a linear accelerator leads to double the amount of Time-of-Flight information as both the leading and falling edge are utilised (unlike for a delta-type pulse).

Type: Article
Title: Preliminary Monte Carlo simulations of linear accelerators in Time-of-Flight Compton Scatter imaging for cargo security
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/2193-7680-2-2
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/2193-7680-2-2
Language: English
Additional information: © 2013 Calvert et al.; licensee Springer. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Compton scatter, Cargo security, Time-of-flight imaging
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Med Phys and Biomedical Eng
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1414948
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