Measurement of the presampled two-dimensional modulation transfer function of digital imaging systems

Kenneth A. Fetterly, Nicholas J. Hangiandreou, Beth A. Schueler, E. Russell Ritenour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The purpose of this work was to develop methods to measure the presampled two-dimensional modulation transfer function (2D MTF) of digital imaging systems. A custom x-ray "point source" phantom was created by machining 256 holes with diameter 0.107 mm through a 0.5-mm-thick copper plate. The phantom was imaged several times, resulting in many images of individual x-ray "spots." The center of each spot (with respect to the pixel matrix) was determined to subpixel accuracy by fitting each spot to a 2D Gaussian function. The subpixel spot center locations were used to create a 5× oversampled system point spread function (PSF), which characterizes the optical and electrical properties of the system and is independent of the pixel sampling of the original image. The modulus of the Fourier transform of the PSF was calculated. Next, the Fourier function was normalized to the zero frequency value. Finally, the Fourier transform function was divided by the first-order Bessel function that defined the frequency content of the holes, resulting in the presampled 2D MTF. The presampled 2D MTF of a 0.1 mm pixel pitch computed radiography system and 0.2 mm pixel pitch flat panel digital imaging system that utilized a cesium iodide scintillator was measured. Comparison of the axial components of the 2D MTF to one-dimensional MTF measurements acquired using an edge device method demonstrated that the two methods produced consistent results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)913-921
Number of pages9
JournalMedical physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002


  • Computed radiography
  • Detective quantum efficiency
  • Digital radiography
  • Two-dimensional modulation transfer function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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