Imaging systems that include a specific source, imaging concept, geometry, and detector have unique properties such as signal-to-noise ratio, dynamic range, spatial resolution, distortions, and contrast. Some of these properties are inherently connected, particularly dynamic range and spatial resolution. It must be emphasized that spatial resolution is not a single number but must be seen in the context of dynamic range and consequently is better described by a function or distribution. We introduce the “dynamic granularity” G dyn as a standardized, objective relation between a detector’s spatial resolution (granularity) and dynamic range for complex imaging systems in a given environment rather than the widely found characterization of detectors such as cameras or films by themselves. This relation can partly be explained through consideration of the signal’s photon statistics, background noise, and detector sensitivity, but a comprehensive description including some unpredictable data such as dust, damages, or an unknown spectral distribution will ultimately have to be based on measurements. Measured dynamic granularities can be objectively used to assess the limits of an imaging system’s performance including all contributing noise sources and to qualify the influence of alternative components within an imaging system. This article explains the construction criteria to formulate a dynamic granularity and compares measured dynamic granularities for different detectors used in the X-ray backlighting scheme employed at Sandia’s Z-Backlighter facility.
Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology