FPGA based data acquistion and digital pulse processing for PET and SPECT

Abstract: The most important aspects of nuclear medicine imaging systems such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET) or Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) are the spatial resolution and the sensitivity (detector efficiency in combination with the geometric efficiency). Considerable efforts have been spent during the last two decades in improving the resolution and the efficiency by developing new detectors. Our proposed improvement technique is focused on the readout and electronics. Instead of using traditional pulse height analysis techniques we propose using free running digital sampling by replacing the analog readout and acquisition electronics with fully digital programmable systems.This thesis describes a fully digital data acquisition system for KS/SU SPECT, new algorithms for high resolution timing for PET, and modular FPGA based decentralized data acquisition system with optimal timing and energy. The necessary signal processing algorithms for energy assessment and high resolution timing are developed and evaluated. The implementation of the algorithms in field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and digital signal processors (DSP) is also covered. Finally, modular decentralized digital data acquisition systems based on FPGAs and Ethernet are described.