Non-destructive 3D X-ray, Neutron, PET and MR imaging are becoming increasingly important in many areas of science with application to Energy, Healthcare and Security. For example X-rays are having a dramatic impact on fields as diverse as security (e.g. baggage and body scanning at airports and screening of vehicles at ports), engineering (e.g. visualising stress corrosion cracking in nuclear plant and the degradation of fuel cells) and medicine (e.g. cancer treatment and artificial tissue engineering).
The spatial and temporal resolutions are increasing dramatically. Research Council funded synchrotron sources are rapidly increasing the numbers of x-ray imaging instruments available (the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) now has 10 beamlines, and Diamond Light Source (DLS) is currently building 4 new imaging beamlines). Also laboratory x-ray imaging facilities are becoming increasingly widespread. This expansion is mirrored elsewhere with the global CT market now worth $150M (+ $5B in medical CT) both expanding at 10% per annum, while 30% of the data stored on the world's computers are now medical images. Unsurprisingly, papers on these tomography have also increased sharply this decade.
CCPi was established in 2012 to support the emerging UK tomography community with a toolbox of algorithms to increase the quality and level of information that can be extracted by computed tomography. There are four major parts: pre-processing techniques for image calibration and noise reduction, reconstruction techniques to create a 3D volume data set from projections and segmentation, quantification techniques that can extract relevant objective values from these 3D volumes, and software framework development to enable the exploitation of CCPi codes in a wide range of existing commercial and open source software.
The size of this community has grown over the last five years with many academic groups around the UK taking up tomographic imaging and purchasing new lab based x-ray CT scanners. The size of our community has arisen from around 250 in 2013 to over 330 in 2017, over 30% growth in the last five years. In 2012 there was an estimated 50,000 CT imaging sources around the world.
Our focus is aiming at bringing together the UK imaging community, specifically to maximising the return on investment in imaging software development through developing, maintaining, and prompting the CCPi core imaging toolbox.
In particular it will
- establish a framework (toolbox) within which different reconstruction algorithms, artefact reduction codes, and image analysis procedures are made available to all
- provide practical versions of emerging reconstruction tools (e.g. iterative algorithms; discrete tomography, local tomography) leading to significant improvements in the fidelity of reconstructions
- develop fast new parallel implementations of existing software to run on central and local (accelerator based and heterogeneous) hardware
- ensure professional standards of code writing and documentation
- train and support the community in the application of reconstruction and analysis tools
- interface with/outreach to a wide user base
- draw in mathematicians working on imaging and make their advances available to a wider community
- interface with instrument developers to ensure that reconstruction algorithms can be applied to data acquired on their x-ray systems
- help to define a metadata standard for X-ray projection data to aid data sharing & analysis
- translate algorithms in from, and out to, cognate imaging modalities (TEM, PET, etc).
- Seek to establish relevant links and funding from complementary sources (e.g. BBSRC and MRC)
Project Chair: Professor Phillip Withers
For more information visit the CCPi website