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Calibration of Radiation Instruments Overview, Practical Techniques, Irradiators Illustrated by Robert Rushton. Hopewell Designs, Inc. OVERVIEW. Calibration of Instruments Irradiators Illustrated Chain of Traceability NIST International Standards. Calibration of Instruments.

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Calibration of Radiation InstrumentsOverview, Practical Techniques, Irradiators IllustratedbyRobert Rushton

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Hopewell Designs, Inc.


  • Calibration of Instruments

  • Irradiators Illustrated

  • Chain of Traceability

  • NIST

  • International Standards

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Calibration of instruments
Calibration of Instruments

  • Steps in a Typical Calibration Procedure

  • What Is Important in a Calibration

  • Features that Help Improve Calibrations

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Steps in a typical calibration
Steps in a Typical Calibration

  • Receive instrument and log into system

  • Perform as found set of readings, typically 20% & 80% full scale, all scales

  • If required, repair instrument

  • Calibrate and adjust until it falls within specifications, typically within 10%

  • Record to database, prepare report

  • Prepare for shipment, log out of system

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Elements of a calibration program
Elements of a Calibration Program

  • Equipment

  • Personnel

  • Training

  • Database, Records Keeping

  • Procedures

  • QA Program

  • Traceability and Accreditation

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Why they are important
Why they are important …

  • Procedures – drive the overall program

  • QA – keeps the program on track

  • Training – people make it happen, training shows them how

  • Records – documents what is done

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Calibration on an irradiator
Calibration on an Irradiator

  • Set up irradiator for exposure rate

    • Track position

    • Source & attenuator selection

    • Expose source

  • Record data and/or adjust instrument

  • Go to next step in procedure

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Irradiator control screen
Irradiator Control Screen

  • System Status

  • Exposure Control

  • Time

  • Setup

  • Positioning

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Exposure rate linked to position
Exposure Rate Linked to Position

  • Exposure rate calculates distance, or

  • Enter desired distance & exposure rate calculated

  • Based on polynomial equation from irradiator calibration

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Position instrument on platform
Position Instrument on Platform

Box Calibrator

Gamma Beam Irradiator

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

One button setup
One Button Setup


  • Pull-down menu

  • Can move to any step in any order

  • PROCEDURE – defined by user

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Record data to database
Record Data to Database

  • Record As Found / As Left readings & comments

  • Use separate database or irradiator’s built-in function

  • At completion, print out calibration report

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Features that improve calibration
Features that Improve Calibration

  • Automation helps with:

    • Control of Irradiator

    • Automation of Procedures

    • Data Collection and Analysis

    • Database Links

  • Benefits Include

    • Improved Accuracy

    • Higher Throughput

    • Audit Trail for Records

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Irradiators illustrated
Irradiators Illustrated

  • An Overview of Irradiators – from Sterilization to Calibration

  • Calibration Irradiators – Types and Isotopes

  • A Detailed Look at 2 Types of Irradiators – LSI and GBI at SRS

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

An overview of irradiators from sterilization to calibration
An Overview of Irradiators – from Sterilization to Calibration

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Nas radiation source use and replacement report
NAS Radiation Source Use and Replacement Report Calibration

  • Radiation Sources: Uses and Origins

  • Radiation Source Risk

  • Accelerator and Detector Technology

  • Self-Contained Irradiators

  • Panoramic Irradiators

  • Radiotherapy

  • Industrial Radiography

  • Well Logging

  • Implementation Options to Encourage Replacement of Sources with Alternatives

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Sterilization irradiators
Sterilization Irradiators Calibration

  • 7 million Ci Co-60

  • Electron Beam

  • High Dose, High Throughput

  • Medical, Increasingly Food

  • Approx. 200 worldwide

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Blood irradiators
Blood Irradiators Calibration

  • Prevents transfusion associated graft versus host disease

  • Located at most major hospitals

  • 100’s in operation

  • Self-contained, simple to operate

  • Majority use Cs-137

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

X ray blood and research irradiators
X-Ray Blood and Research Irradiators Calibration

  • No Security Req’d

  • Lower Energy Beam

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Research irradiators
Research Irradiators Calibration

  • Cs-137 irradiation for medical research, Co-60 for higher doses

    • Cancer research,

    • Immunology,

    • DNA damage/repair,

    • Materials degradation

    • Space research.

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Calibration irradiators
Calibration Irradiators Calibration

  • Calibration of radiation instruments

  • Smallest segment of irradiator types in terms of qnty and total isotope activity

  • Wide variety of designs and isotopes

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Calibration irradiators1
Calibration Irradiators Calibration

  • Gamma

  • Box

  • X-Ray

  • Neutron

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Gamma free in air
Gamma CalibrationFree In Air

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Gamma beam panoramic irradiators
Gamma Beam & CalibrationPanoramic Irradiators

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Panoramic dosimeter irradiator
Panoramic Dosimeter Irradiator Calibration

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Box calibrator
Box Calibrator Calibration

  • Self-contained

  • Typical dual source with attenuator set

  • 6 orders of magnitude of exposure rates

  • Built in security (but must be fed)

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Well irradiator
Well Irradiator Calibration

  • Good for production calibration

  • No exposure room req’d

  • 9m travel & X100 attenuator give range of 4 orders of magnitude

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Gamma well control station
Gamma Well & Control Station Calibration

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Small gamma irradiator
Small Gamma Irradiator Calibration

  • Self contained

  • 5 Ci Cs-137 source

  • For EPDs, PICs, Instrument Probes

  • 3 Attenuators – 0 to1000X

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Am 241 irradiator
Am-241 CalibrationIrradiator

  • Low energy gamma beam

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Neutron free in air
Neutron Free In Air Calibration

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Pneumatic transfer system
Pneumatic Transfer System Calibration

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Neutron well irradiator
Neutron Well Irradiator Calibration

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

X ray beam irradiator
X-Ray Beam Irradiator Calibration

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Beta beam irradiator
Beta Beam Irradiator Calibration

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

A detailed look at 2 types of irradiators lsi and gbi at srs
A Detailed Look at Calibration2 Types of Irradiators – LSI and GBI at SRS

  • Mechanical & Electrical Design

  • Sources and Ranges

  • Control System

  • Automated Irradiator Software

  • Irradiator Calibration, Automated

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Low scatter irradiator
Low Scatter Irradiator Calibration

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Lsi 4 tracks below ground source storage
LSI - 4 tracks, below ground source storage Calibration

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Lsi basement
LSI Basement Calibration

  • Below ground shield for 7 sources

  • Staircase to basement

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Gamma beam irradiator
Gamma Beam Irradiator Calibration

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Source transfer tube for gbi curved to prevent radiation shine
Source Transfer Tube for GBI - Calibrationcurved to prevent radiation shine

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Source holders rabbits
Source Holders - “Rabbits” Calibration

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Major functions of automation
Major Functions of Automation Calibration

  • Control of Irradiator

  • Automation of Procedures

  • Data Collection and Analysis

  • Database Links

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Computer control
Computer Control Calibration

  • 1 Button Setup

  • Exposure Rate Calculation

  • Automated Irradiator Calibration

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Safety systems
Safety Systems Calibration

  • Fail-Safe Design

  • Indicator Lights

  • Search & Evict Process

  • Door Interlocks

  • Emergency Off Switch

  • Error Monitoring

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Calibration of irradiator

  • Ion chamber traceable to NIST used to measure exposure rate

  • Measurements made over full range of track for each source/attenuator

  • Data reviewed for accuracy and consistency

  • Actual data fit to polynomial equation for exposure rate vs. distance.

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Calibration set up
Calibration Set Up Calibration

Ion Chamber in Beam Centerline

Electrometer Linked to Computer

Software for Data Collection

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Irradiator calibration
Irradiator Calibration Calibration

  • Set up parameters

  • Ion Chamber

  • Electrometer

  • Calibration Points

  • Exposure

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Positioning track set up
Positioning Track Set Up Calibration

  • Number of Distances to Measure

  • Geometric/Linear

  • Range

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Automated irradiator operation
Automated Irradiator Operation Calibration

  • Track position set

  • Electrometer polled

  • Exposure controlled

  • Data recorded

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Data analysis
Data Analysis Calibration

  • Data is fit to polynomial curve

  • Parameters and equation stored to database.

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Chain of traceability
Chain of Traceability Calibration

  • Instrument Calibration Labs

  • Secondary Level Calibration Labs

  • Primary Calibration Labs

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Secondary calibration labs
Secondary Calibration Labs Calibration

  • High level of precision, accuracy, and error checking

  • Single tier traceability to national standard

  • In the United States

    • Univ. of Wisconsin

    • K&S Associates

  • International

    • Many countries do not maintain primary standards

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

National institute of standards and technology
National Institute of Standards and Technology Calibration

  • Overview of the Ionizing Radiation Division

  • A Detailed Look at the X-Ray Calibration Ranges

  • Free Air Chamber – the Primary Standard for 50 to 300 kV X-Rays

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Radiation interactions and dosimetry group
Radiation Interactions and Dosimetry Group Calibration

  • Develops, maintains, and disseminates the national measurement standards for the dosimetry of x rays, gamma rays, and electrons

  • Engages in research on radiation interactions and effects to meet requirements for new standards and to address the needs of industry, medicine, and government.

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Control station for dual x ray sets
Control Station for Dual X-ray Sets Calibration

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

300 kv x ray range
300 kV X-Ray Range Calibration

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

An instrument calibration at nist x ray calibration lab
An Instrument Calibration at CalibrationNIST X-Ray Calibration Lab

  • 100 kV Range

  • 300 kV Range

  • Mammography Range

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Instrument calibration set up
Instrument Calibration Set Up Calibration

Free Air Chamber (NIST National Standard)

Customer’s Ion Chamber

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Data collection and analysis
Data Collection and Analysis Calibration

  • 10-15 Readings Taken per Ion Chamber

  • Mean and Standard Deviation Calculated

  • Correction Factors Calculated & Applied

  • Air Kerma, Exposure Rate Calculated for FAC

  • R/C Calculated for Ion Chamber

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Report for ion chamber
Report for Ion Chamber Calibration

  • Shows Raw Data

  • Beam Code

  • Chamber Settings

  • Air Kerma

  • Calibration Factor

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Overall uncertainty reduced by
Overall Uncertainty Reduced by Calibration

  • Up to 15 correction factors calculated and applied

  • Measurements confirmed via multiple paths

  • Precision positioning

  • High precision, ultra stable equipment

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Results in uncertainties of
Results in Uncertainties of: Calibration

  • Primary calibration labs ± 1%

  • Secondary labs ± 2-3%

  • Calibration labs > 3%

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

National standards canada s x ray free air chamber
National Standards CalibrationCanada’s X-Ray Free Air Chamber

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Iaea co 60 ion chamber
IAEA CalibrationCo-60 Ion Chamber

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Nist wide angle free air chamber
NIST CalibrationWide Angle Free Air Chamber

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

International standards
International Standards Calibration

  • A Look at Calibration Labs Around the World

  • Intercomparison and Other International Programs

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

A bit of background
A Bit of Background Calibration

  • About 20-25% of Hopewell Designs work is international

  • We researched international calibration and dosimetry programs

  • This presentation gives an overview of what we found, and

  • Reviews some of the laboratories where we supplied equipment.

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Primary standards laboratories psl
Primary Standards Laboratories (PSL) Calibration

  • Russia

  • Spain

  • USA

  • Italy

  • Japan

  • France

  • Germany

  • Canada

  • Australia

  • Austria

  • Hungary

  • Netherlands

  • New Zealand

  • United Kingdom

  • (plus others)

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Secondary standards labs ssl
Secondary Standards Labs (SSL) Calibration


Czech Republic



















Saudi Arabia



Slovak Republic


South Africa
































Hopewell Designs, Inc.

The bureau international des poids et mesures bipm
The Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) Calibration

  • Ensures world-wide uniformity of measurements and traceability to International System of Measurements

  • Via Convention of the Metre

  • Intercomparison Programs

  • Measurement Related Research

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

A brief history dosimetry and nuclear medicine
A Brief History – Dosimetry and Nuclear Medicine Calibration

  • 1950’s – Co-60 teletherapy introduced

  • 1960’s – Recognized need for uniform radiation measurements

  • 1970’s – Several networks and programs established in int’l arena

  • 1980’s – Ongoing support for calibration, training, new program development

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

International traceability
International Traceability Calibration

  • PSLs and BIPM provide 1st link in chain of international measurement system

  • Direct comparison with PSL’s standards

  • BIPM and PSLs provide calibration services to SSLs & others

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Services for radioactivity measurements
Services for CalibrationRadioactivity Measurements

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Intercomparison results one example
Intercomparison Results – CalibrationOne Example

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Primary uses of radiation worldwide
Primary Uses of Radiation - Worldwide Calibration

  • Nuclear Power

  • Industrial Processing, Primarily Sterilization

  • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Medical treatment
Medical Treatment Calibration

  • Largest Segment: Cancer Treatment

  • Most new cancer cases in developing countries

  • On going effort by WHO and others to support nuclear medicine programs

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Major role of ssl
Major Role of SSL Calibration

  • Help assure accurate dosimetry thru:

    • Instrument calibration – traceable to a primary standard

    • Dosimetry programs: Calibration & QA audits

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Work of the ssls
Work of the SSLs Calibration

  • Maintain Radiation Dosimetry Standards

  • Collaborate with hospitals and end users

  • Provide services to end users

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

A short tour of recent work
A Short Tour of Recent Work Calibration

  • Institut Rudjer Boskovic, Croatia

  • Institute of Nuclear Physics, Albania

  • Kazakhstan Atomic Energy Committee

  • Ministry of Health, Kuwait

  • Institute of Public Health, Romania

  • Radiation Protection Institute of Ireland

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Institut rudjer boskovic croatia

Institute – nuclear research for over 50 yrs Calibration

Provides dosimetry services

Setting up instrument calibration

Institut Rudjer Boskovic, Croatia

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Co 60 teletherapy calibration
Co-60 Teletherapy Calibration Calibration

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

X ray techniques cs 137 protection level cal
X-Ray Techniques, CalibrationCs-137 Protection Level Cal.

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Institute of nuclear physics albania

Nuclear research Calibration

Dosimetry program

Instrument calibration program being implemented

Institute of Nuclear Physics, Albania

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

X ray and cs 137 calibrations
X-Ray and CalibrationCs-137 Calibrations

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Kazakhstan atomic energy committee
Kazakhstan Atomic Energy Committee Calibration

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Ministry of health kuwait
Ministry of Health, Kuwait Calibration

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Institute of public health romania

Active dosimetry and instrument calibration for over 30 years

Upgrade Equipment

Adding to Capabilities

Institute of Public Health, Romania

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Radiation institute of ireland
Radiation Institute of Ireland years

Hopewell Designs, Inc.

Thanks from hopewell designs
Thanks from Hopewell Designs years

Hopewell Designs, Inc.