Rapid GPU-based simulation of x-ray transmission, scatter, and phase measurements for threat detection systems

Qian Gong, David Coccarelli, Razvan Ionut Stoian, Joel Greenberg, Esteban Vera, Michael Gehm

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


To support the statistical analysis of x-ray threat detection, we developed a very high-throughput x-ray modeling framework based upon GPU technologies and have created three different versions focusing on transmission, scatter, and phase. The simulation of transmission imaging is based on a deterministic photo-absorption approach. This initial transmission approach is then extended to include scatter effects that are computed via the Born approximation. For phase, we modify the transmission framework to propagate complex ray amplitudes rather than radiometric quantities. The highly-optimized NVIDIA OptiX API is used to implement the required ray-tracing in all frameworks, greatly speeding up code execution. In addition, we address volumetric modeling of objects via a hierarchical representation structure of triangle-mesh-based surface descriptions. We show that the x-ray transmission and phase images of complex 3D models can be simulated within seconds on a desktop computer, while scatter images take approximately 30-60 minutes as a result of the significantly greater computational complexity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnomaly Detection and Imaging with X-Rays (ADIX)
EditorsMichael E. Gehm, Amit Ashok, Mark A. Neifeld
ISBN (Electronic)9781510600881
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventAnomaly Detection and Imaging with X-Rays (ADIX) Conference - Baltimore, United States
Duration: 19 Apr 201620 Apr 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceAnomaly Detection and Imaging with X-Rays (ADIX) Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Computer simulation
  • GPU-based ray-tracing
  • Phase imaging
  • Rayleigh and Compton scattering
  • X-ray imaging


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