SU-E-J-17: A Study of Accelerator-Induced Cerenkov Radiation as a Beam Diagnostic and Dosimetry Tool




To investigate accelerator-induced Cerenkov radiation imaging as a possible beam diagnostic and medical dosimetry tool.


Cerenkov emission produced by clinical accelerator beams in a water phantom was imaged using a camera system comprised of a high-sensitivity thermoelectrically-cooled CCD camera coupled to a large aperture (f/0.75) objective lens with 16:1 magnification. This large format lens allows a significant amount of the available Cerenkov light to be collected and focused onto the CCD camera to form the image. Preliminary images, obtained with 6 MV photon beams, used an unshielded camera mounted horizontally with the beam normal to the water surface, and confirmed the detection of Cerenkov radiation. Several improvements were subsequently made including the addition of radiation shielding around the camera, and altering of the beam and camera angles to give a more favorable geometry for Cerenkov light collection. A detailed study was then undertaken over a range of electron and photon beam energies and dose rates to investigate the possibility of using this technique for beam diagnostics and dosimetry.


A series of images were obtained at a fixed dose rate over a range of electron energies from 6 to 20 MeV. The location of maximum intensity was found to vary linearly with the energy of the beam. A linear relationship was also found between the light observed from a fixed point on the central axis and the dose rate for both photon and electron beams.


We have found that the analysis of images of beam-induced Cerenkov light in a water phantom has potential for use as a beam diagnostic and medical dosimetry tool. Our future goals include the calibration of the light output in terms of radiation dose and development of a tomographic system for 3D Cerenkov imaging in water phantoms and other media.