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Evaluation of image quality in terahertz pulsed imaging using test objects.

Fitzgerald, A. J. and Berry, E. and Miles, R. E. and Zinovev, N. N. and Smith, M. A. and Chamberlain, J. M. (2002) 'Evaluation of image quality in terahertz pulsed imaging using test objects.', Physics in medicine and biology., 47 (21). pp. 3865-3873.


As with other imaging modalities, the performance of terahertz (THz) imaging systems is limited by factors of spatial resolution, contrast and noise. The purpose of this paper is to introduce test objects and image analysis methods to evaluate and compare THz image quality in a quantitative and objective way, so that alternative terahertz imaging system configurations and acquisition techniques can be compared, and the range of image parameters can be assessed. Two test objects were designed and manufactured, one to determine the modulation transfer functions (MTF) and the other to derive image signal to noise ratio (SNR) at a range of contrasts. As expected the higher THz frequencies had larger MTFs, and better spatial resolution as determined by the spatial frequency at which the MTF dropped below the 20% threshold. Image SNR was compared for time domain and frequency domain image parameters and time delay based images consistently demonstrated higher SNR than intensity based parameters such as relative transmittance because the latter are more strongly affected by the sources of noise in the THz system such as laser fluctuations and detector shot noise.

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Record Created:16 Jul 2007
Last Modified:29 Apr 2009 14:46

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