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International Society for Industrial Process Tomography

5th World Congress on Industrial Process Tomography

A Positron Camera with Flexible Geometry for the Study of Industrial Processes

T. W. Leadbeater, D. J. Parker

Positron Imaging Centre, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, Email:


For over twenty years, the University of Birmingham Positron Imaging Centre has been unique in applying the dynamic medical imaging technique of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to studies in engineering and industrial processes.

During this time, a number of novel methods have been developed to aid in these studies. The technique of Positron Emitting Particle Tracking (PEPT), where a single particle can be tracked accurately in three dimensions giving both location and velocity information, has proved particularly powerful.

The majority of medical PET scanners consist of hundreds of small detector elements in a fixed ring geometry which is generally unsuitable for engineering studies. With this in mind a new system has been developed where separate detector modules, consisting of a number of these small detector elements, have been individually packaged; thus enabling the camera geometry to be easily modified. Advantageously, this system is mobile and can be used in a number of settings where conventional imaging would have proved to be impossible.

Presented here is an overview of the PEPT technique with specific focus upon the structure and operation of the new modular camera. This system has been developed primarily to study large systems, however the flexible geometry afforded by the camera also allows for precise, high resolution studies of small systems. To date, this camera has been used with success to study applications in the Positron Imaging Centre, the University Chemical Engineering department and a large scale industrial plant operating in situ.

Keywords Positron imaging, Particle tracking, Flexible geometry, Industrial plant.

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