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Nov 09

Improve noise by throwing away photons?

Tag: Clinical hardware,Noise,Physicsadmin @ 11:48 am
Photon counting systems with pulse height analysis (PHA) count the number of photons whose energy falls within a set of energy ranges, which I will call bins. Usually the bins are contiguous, non-overlapping, and span the incident energy spectrum so each photon falls within one bin. A paper[6] by Wang and Pelc showed that the A-vector noise variance can be decreased by using bins that are not contiguous. That is, if we use bins that only cover the low and high energy regions and do not include intermediate energies, we can lower the noise variance. Photons with energies in these intermediate regions are not counted i.e. they are thrown away. Improving noise by throwing away photons is an interesting concept and I will discuss it in this post. It turns out to be an example where the choice of the quality measure fundamentally changes the hardware design, which happens often, so it is important to study it.

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