Modification of the TASMIP x-ray spectral model for the simulation of microfocus x-ray sources

Alejandro Sisniega Crespo, M. Desco, J. J. Vaquero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: The availability of accurate and simple models for the estimation of x-ray spectra is of great importance for system simulation, optimization, or inclusion of photon energy information into data processing. There is a variety of publicly available tools for estimation of x-ray spectra in radiology and mammography. However, most of these models cannot be used directly for modeling microfocus x-ray sources due to differences in inherent filtration, energy range andor anode material. For this reason the authors propose in this work a new model for the simulation of microfocus spectra based on existing models for mammography and radiology, modified to compensate for the effects of inherent filtration and energy range. Methods: The authors used the radiology and mammography versions of an existing empirical model tungsten anode spectral model interpolating polynomials (TASMIP) as the basis of the microfocus model. First, the authors estimated the inherent filtration included in the radiology model by comparing the shape of the spectra with spectra from the mammography model. Afterwards, the authors built a unified spectra dataset by combining both models and, finally, they estimated the parameters of the new version of TASMIP for microfocus sources by calibrating against experimental exposure data from a microfocus x-ray source. The model was validated by comparing estimated and experimental exposure and attenuation data for different attenuating materials and x-ray beam peak energy values, using two different x-ray tubes. Results: Inherent filtration for the radiology spectra from TASMIP was found to be equivalent to 1.68mm Al, as compared to spectra obtained from the mammography model. To match the experimentally measured exposure data the combined dataset required to apply a negative filtration of about 0.21 mm Al and an anode roughness of 0.003 mm W. The validation of the model against real acquired data showed errors in exposure and attenuation in line with those reported for other models for radiology or mammography. Conclusions: A new version of the TASMIP model for the estimation of x-ray spectra in microfocus x-ray sources has been developed and validated experimentally. Similarly to other versions of TASMIP, the estimation of spectra is very simple, involving only the evaluation of polynomial expressions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number011902
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • breast imaging
  • computer simulation
  • micro-CT
  • microfocus source
  • radiation dose
  • x-ray spectra

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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