Image Processing with CERA

Technology Excellence in Imaging Solutions

Our Mission

Over the last decade, Siemens Healthineers developed CERA as a powerful toolbox consisting of building blocks for high performance 3D X-ray imaging across various imaging markets. The ability to combine knowledge from diverse application fields is keeping us in a unique position to generate and implement innovations that help you to augment your specific solutions.

Regular upgrades add exciting new features to CERA, which is designed to support your imaging needs with the following strategies in mind: Customization and Differentiation, Workflow Automation, Quality and Efficiency.

While 3D X-ray imaging applications are very specialized for their use case, they can be based on a set of common underlying technologies.

The functionality of CERA targets these common technologies by delivering algorithms and functions to be used in a variety of imaging markets. CERA thus offers the chance to leverage synergies between otherwise separated communities, applications, and markets.

Geometry Alignment
Geometry Alignment
  • Phantom-based geometry computation
  • Automatic geometry alignment
3D Image Reconstruction
3D Image Reconstruction
  • Outstanding standard Feldkamp algorithm implementation
  • Special reconstruction techniques
  • Cone-beam artifact-free reconstructions
Image Quality Improvement
Image Quality Improvement
  • Physical artifact reduction (beam hardening, scatter, etc.)
  • Ring artifact reduction, bad pixel correction
  • Intelligent noise reduction
3D Volume Visualization
3D Volume Visualization
  • Fluent visualization of huge volumes
  • Cinematic rendering

Licensing Landscape

Click on the "+" signs for more information:

  1. CERA-BASIC is a prerequisite for using all functionality related to reconstruction and calibration. It already includes:
    • Standard Feldkamp reconstruction (FDK)
    • Iterative reconstruction methods (ART)
    • Numerous image preprocessing methods
    • CERA XPlorer front-end application for reconstruction and visualization
  2. CERA VRT is the visualization package and provides:
    • High-quality and smooth 2D/3D visualization
    • Teravoxel renderer
    • Cinematic renderer
    • CERA XPlorer front-end application for visualization
  3. CMP extends CERA BASIC with functions to identify the CT scan geometry:
    • Automatic compensation of systematic deviations
    • Automatic compensation of stochastic deviations
    • Phantom-based geometry identification
  4. OMC extends CERA BASIC with functions to compensate for patient motion that may appear in dental CT measurements.
  5. SRM extends CERA BASIC with special reconstruction methods that allow the capabilities of a CT scanner to be expanded. It comprises:
    • Region-of-interest tomography
    • Half-beam reconstruction
    • Extended-field-of-view reconstruction
    Additionally, SRM improves 3D image quality in combination with
    • application-specific trajectories with variable magnification of variable angular increment
    • tomosynthesis scan geometries
  6. RED extends CERA BASIC with methods to reduce image degradations caused by X-ray physics, such as
    • image noise
    • beam hardening artifacts
    • X-ray scatter artifacts
    • photon starvation / metal artifacts
    • ring artifacts
  7. TXR extends CERA BASIC with functions for cone-beam artifact-free reconstructions, in combination with:
    • Helix trajectories
    • Dual-helix trajectories
    • Circle+line trajectories

Portfolio

cera portfolio - ndt applications
Typical applications in NDT comprise dimensional measurement or material testing during the manufacturing cycle of various products. 3D NDT X-ray imaging often has high demands on resolution and geometric precision and often involves very large amounts of data. CERA nicely supports those requirements.
  • Application-specific Trajectories
  • Phantom-based Alignment
  • Cone-beam Artifact Free Reconstruction
  • Field-of-view Enlargements
  • Beam Hardening Reduction
  • Scatter Reduction
  • Tera Voxel Renderer
  • Benchmarks
Find more details here:
cera portfolio - applications in electronics

Electronic testing typically deals with objects of anisotropic form factors, such as printed circuit boards, oftentimes with a specific interest in only certain regions distributed over that object. The small structures of interest demand high geometric magnifications during the scan.

In addition, fast workflows are required in in-line applications. These requirements are often addressed with linear or circular tomosynthesis scans with a reduced number of projections. CERA's dedicated analytic and iterative algorithms provide high image quality in these scenarios. Geometric jitter caused by fast movement of manipulators and amplified by high geometric magnification is reduced by CERA's automatic jitter compensation. Visual assessment is enhanced with cutting-edge visualization techniques.
  • Jitter Compensation.
  • Iterative Reconstruction
  • Cinematic Rendering
  • Speed-up Methods
Find more details here:
cera portfolio - dental imaging
Digital volume tomography has become a standard application in dental imaging. Good algorithmic processing allows to create very compact and cost-efficient designs for highly specialized devices for imaging the human head. Typical challenges are detectors that do not cover the patient's entire head, limitations in the system mechanics, patient motion, and metallic dental fillings. This chapter presents the solutions CERA delivers for those challenges.
  • (Super) Short-scan Reconstruction
  • Half-beam Reconstruction
  • Noise reduction
  • Patient Motion Compensation
  • Metal Artifact Reduction
Find more details here:

How to use CERA

How to use cera

From out-of-the-box to deep integration: customizable for any needs

In order to be used, CERA requires a Windows 10 system with an Nvidia Graphics Adapter. To achieve high performance, an SSD is recommended for fast I/O. CPU performance, on the other hand, has no significant influence on CERA's processing speed. CERA can be accessed in a seamless range of depths of integration starting from a comfortable GUI up to an extremely fine-grained API integration. The chosen depth of integration can vary throughout the implementation, utilizing:

  • CERA XPlorer, an intuitive front-end application, offering an easy entry point and allowing fast prototyping.
  • Ready-to-use examples for most CERA features that come as pre-compiled programs and as C++ source code.
  • An easy-to-do high-level C-API integration, based on text-based configuration files that separate source code from feature and system configurations.
  • The low-level C-API allowing fine-grained control of all CERA features for a completely customizable workflow.
The CERA XPlorer is an intuitive and efficient frontend to explore most CERA features. It can be used for rapid prototyping and also as an end-customer application. CERA XPlorer's functionality can be extended by executing customized command-line tools directly from its GUI. These can be the ready-to-use CERA examples or customer-created tools. This allows automatic, task-specific workflows to be created easily.

Main Benefits

Main benefits
CERA delivers software building blocks enabling fast development of cutting-edge tomographic X-ray imaging devices. The access to high-end CERA algorithms allows our partners to focus their R&D on the specific requirements of their application.
  • Benefit from a long-time stable programming interface that decouples your software from the fast life-cycle of underlying computer hardware
  • Utilize the performance benefits of GPUs without extra implementation efforts
  • Gain access to innovation and technologies from other X-ray imaging markets where solutions for your questions may have already been found
  • Benefit from direct expert-only support automatically included in a commercial license