We present a new high-precision method for the geometric calibration in cone-beam computed tomography. It is based on a Fourier analysis of the projection-orbit data, recorded with a flat-panel area detector, of individual point-like objects. For circular scan trajectories the complete set of misalignment parameters which determine the deviation of the detector alignment from the ideal scan geometry are obtained from explicit analytic expressions. To derive these expressions we show how to disentangle the problems of calculating misalignment parameters and point coordinates. The calculation of the coordinates of the point objects inside the scanned volume, in units of the distance from the focal spot to the center of rotation, is then possible analytically likewise. We simulate point-projection data on a misaligned detector with various amounts of randomness added to mimic measurement uncertainties. This data is then employed in our calibration to validate the method by comparing the resulting misalignment parameters and point coordinates to the known true ones. We also present our implementation and results for the geometric calibration of micro-CT systems. The effectiveness of the corresponding misalignment correction in reducing image artifacts is exemplified by reconstructed micro-CT images.
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