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The PITRE software

PITRE (Phase-sensitive x-ray Image processing and Tomography REconstruction) is a software developed by INFN Trieste n order to facilitate and standardize the simulation and elaboration of X-ray phase contrast images. The acronym PITRE in Italian is pronounced /'pi.tre/; the pronunciation is the same of “P3”, which is then chosen as a logo for the PITRE program. A batch processing manager for PITRE, called PITRE_BM, can execute a series of tasks ("jobs"), which is created via PITRE, without manual intervention.

PITRE is freeware and allows:

  1. phase retrieval for propagation-based X-ray phase-contrast imaging/tomography (PPCT)
  2. extraction of apparent absorption, refraction and ultra-small-angle scattering images for analyzer-based X-ray phase-contrast imaging/tomography (DEI-CT)
  3. parallel beam extended view CT data handling
  4. tomography reconstruction: parallel beam CT,PPCT and DEI-CT,employing filter back-projection and GRIDREC algorithms
  5. images format conversion or cropping
  6. and lots more

Installing PITRE on your PC

System requirements: nowadays PC can run PITRE without any problem. One suggestion is to have sufficient RAM size due to the sinogram generation method. Moreover, it is recommended to use 64-bit version (both for the OS and for PITRE) rather than 32-bit in case the PC RAM size is larger than 4 Gigabytes.

Installation guide:

1. Install 32/64 bit IDL (version 7.1 or higher), which can be downloaded from Exelis Visual Information website after a simple registration, on windows XP (or newer version). The IDL Virtual Machine is included in the IDL installation file and does not require a license to run.

2. Download the PITRE installer (32/64 bit) and run it as Administrator; the installer will process the following actions on your PC:

  • Extract PITRE files to default directory ‘C:\PITRE\’
  • Add ‘C:\PITRE\lib\’ to Windows system environment variable "Path". In this way, PITRE will locate and call automatically the external libraries, such as Gridrec and GraphicsMagick
  • Request to reboot the PC, which is essential for the previous step to take effect

3. Reboot the PC.

4. Double click `PITRE.sav` (or use IDL Virtual Machine to open it) to run the software.

If you need help or if you want to provide any feedback please contact

Last update: 03/01/2019 

Page editor: Luigi Rigon

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Image in the page header: an artistically enhanced picture of particle tracks in the BEBC, Big European Bubble Chamber (Copyright CERN).