Humidity effects on calibrations of radiation therapy electrometers

  1. Get@NRC: Humidity effects on calibrations of radiation therapy electrometers (Opens in a new window)
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Journal titleMedical Physics
Pages984987; # of pages: 4
Subjectarticle; calibration; computer assisted radiotherapy; electric capacitance; equipment; equipment design; humidity; instrumentation; radiometry; reproducibility; sensitivity and specificity; standard; static electricity; Calibration; Electric Capacitance; Equipment Design; Equipment Failure Analysis; Humidity; Radiometry; Radiotherapy, Conformal; Reproducibility of Results; Sensitivity and Specificity; Static Electricity
AbstractPurpose: To eliminate variation in electrometer calibration results caused by high humidity and suboptimal connectors on the standard capacitors and to implement hardware that prevents overloading of the input stage of electrometers during calibration. Methods: A humidity-controlled cabinet was installed to provide a low-humidity environment for the standard capacitors. All of the coaxial BNC connections were replaced with Triax (TRB) connectors with the exception of the output from the voltage source. A three-stage RC filter with cascaded RC low-pass sections was designed and tested. Results: The installation of the humidity cabinet resulted in a major improvement in the stability and reproducibility of the electrometer calibration system. For the three years since this upgrade, the Ionizing Radiation Standards (IRS) electrometer calibration results have been consistent regardless of the ambient relative humidity in the lab. The connector replacements improved grounding in the calibration circuit. The three-stage filter allows the voltage at the output to rise in an S-shaped waveform, resulting in a smooth rise of the current through the isolation resistor from zero and back again, with no abrupt transition. For the filter design chosen, 99.99 of the charge is delivered within 6 s. Conclusions: A three-way improvement to the calibration measurement system was successful in eliminating the observed variations, resulting in an electrometer calibration measurement system that is unaffected by humidity and allowing reliable year-round calibrations of any electrometer encountered since the implementation of these changes.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for National Measurement Standards; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21270135
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Record identifierd0d0e33b-1359-49ad-adce-546d3483a04b
Record created2014-01-03
Record modified2016-05-09
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