X-AID is a highly-efficient software for fast reconstructions, artefact corrections, image quality enhancements and three-dimensional (3D) visualizations of computed tomography (CT) data. It is developed to simplify, enhance and promote the application of CT in industries and academia.
In recent years, the demand for CT as non-destructive inspection solution in failure analysis, quality control, material characterization and process optimization is rapidly growing. One of the key factors behind this success is the precise 3D digital representation of objects and their inner structures that can be obtained by CT imaging. This enables great opportunities for the extraction of numerous quantitative object parameters like metrological information. However, various potential inspection tasks necessitate further improvements of the technique in terms of data quality and speed. Especially the integration of CT as a major tool for production 4.0 requires ongoing advancements.
The team of the Munich-based company MITOS develops advanced software packages for CT system integrators to overcome current limitations and realize new applications of CT imaging. Their main focus is on algorithms for the transformation of the radiographic images that are acquired during a CT scan into the actual 3D representation of the scanned object. This so-called reconstruction process is a crucial step within each CT examination and gives plenty of room for improvements of the final data and the correction of image artifacts.
MITOS’ software release X-AID combines many of the appealed powerful functionalities and is specially designed for end-users. “Many CT users are not aware of the great possibilities that are hidden in between the CT scan and the actual data analysis. You can compensate for shortcomings of your data acquisition and considerably enhance your image quality. In many cases, this makes the analysis of the final data easier and more reliable“, Michael Schwarzenberg, product manager of X-AID, explains the motivation behind X-AID.
X-AID is developed in close collaboration with experienced CT users to guarantee a simple use of the software. The intuitive graphical user interface and the semi-automated workflow guarantee optimum imaging results, even without prior knowledge about CT reconstruction and data processing. The software runs independently from the CT hardware as stand-alone application and features data-reading routines for various common CT systems. The multi-GPU implementation of X-AID assures fast results even for larger data sizes. With reconstruction times of 45 seconds for a 3D volume with dimensions of 20003 voxels (2 GPUs, 2200 radiographic images) and around 12 minutes for a 3D volume of 40003 voxels (4 GPUs, 4000 radiographic images), X-AID is one of the fastest reconstruction solutions on the market.
X-AID is able to reduce various kinds of CT artifacts arising from geometrical inaccuracies of the CT system, instabilities during the CT scan and the polychromatic behavior of X-rays. The fully-automated rotation offset correction is very accurate and extremely robust against image noise and other artifacts. Quick previews ensure an easy selection of optimum parameters for the reduction of artifacts like beam hardening. A broad range of reconstruction options like local tomography, multi-height, offset scan and batch reconstructions are included. The add-on module for statistical iterative reconstruction enables to reduce scanning times as it delivers superior image quality for CT scans with low numbers of radiographic images or high noise due to short exposure times.
For quick assessment and inspection of the final CT data, a 3D slice viewer is integrated within the X-AID GUI. Any cross-section through the 3D volume can be visualized to find the best views of critical regions and measure specific details. Several data export formats allow for an uncomplicated transfer of the data into other popular software applications to perform more sophisticated analysis tasks when needed. An autonomous viewer independent from the actual data processing routines will be freely available for all X-AID users soon and facilitate the process of sharing results with collaborators or customers. “Our new CT data viewer features among other things the possibility to create 3D renderings and surface meshes of your objects“, Schwarzenberg gives insight into their latest development.
For advanced users, MITOS provides a python library containing the functionalities of the X-AID framework together with each software license. This opens up manifold additional opportunities like the prototyping of automated workflows, a flexible and versatile development of own individual solutions or the combination of X-AID with third-party libraries for 3D data analysis.
For more information: www.x-aid.de