Deep learning for 2D passive source detection in presence of complex cargo Academic Article uri icon


  • Methods for source detection in high noise environments are important for single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) medical imaging and especially crucial for homeland security applications, which is our main interest. In the latter case, one deals with passively detecting the presence of low emission nuclear sources with significant background noise (with Signal To Noise Ratio ($SNR$) $1\%$ or less). In passive emission problems, direction sensitive detectors are needed, to match the dimensionalities of the image and the data. Collimation, used for that purpose in standard Anger $gamma$-cameras, is not an option. Instead, Compton $gamma$-cameras (and their analogs for other types of radiation) can be utilized. Backprojection methods suggested before by two of the authors and their collaborators enable detection in the presence of a random uniform background. In most practical applications, however, cargo packing in shipping containers and trucks creates regions of strong absorption and scattering, while leaving some streaming gaps open. In such cases backprojection methods prove ineffective and lose their detection ability. Nonetheless, visual perception of the backprojection pictures suggested that some indications of presence of a source might still be in the data. To learn such features (if they do exist), a deep neural network approach is implemented in 2D, which indeed exhibits higher sensitivity and specificity than the backprojection techniques in a low scattering case and works well when presence of complex cargo makes backprojection fail completely.

author list (cited authors)

  • Baines, W., Kuchment, P., & Ragusa, J.

publication date

  • January 1, 2020 11:11 AM