Selection and evaluation of spherical acquisition trajectories for industrial computed tomography

Fabian Bauer, Matthias Goldammer, Christian U. Grosse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In conventional industrial computed tomography, the source-detector system rotates in equiangular steps in-plane relative to the part of investigation. While being by far the most frequently used acquisition trajectory today, this method has several drawbacks like the formation of cone beam artefacts or limited usability in case of geometrical restrictions. In such cases, the usage of alternative spherical trajectories can be beneficial to improve image quality and defect visibility. While investigations have been performed to relate the influence of the trajectory choice in the typical metrological case of a high number of available projections, so far barely any work has been done for the case of few source-detector poses, which is more relevant in the field of non-destructive testing. In this work, we provide an overview of quantitative metrics that can be used to assess the image quality of reconstructed computed tomography volumes, discuss their advantages and drawbacks and propose a framework to investigate the performance of several non-standard trajectories with respect to previously defined regions of interest. Inspired by pseudorandom sampling methods for Monte-Carlo-algorithms, we also suggest an entirely new trajectory design, the low-discrepancy spherical trajectory, which extends the concept of equiangular planar trajectories into three dimensions and can be used for benchmarking and comparison with other spherical trajectories. Last, we use an optimization method to calculate task-specific acquisition trajectories and relate their performance to other spherical designs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20210192
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2250
StatePublished - 30 Jun 2021


  • X-ray imaging
  • image quality evaluation
  • industrial computed tomography
  • inspection design
  • scan optimization
  • trajectory design


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