Fifty-seventh annual meeting of the American association of physicists in medicine
MO-D-213-07: RadShield: Semi- Automated Calculation of Air Kerma Rate and Barrier Thickness
To develop the first Java-based semi-automated calculation program intended to aid professional radiation shielding design. Air-kerma rate and barrier thickness calculations are performed by implementing NCRP Report 147 formalism into a Graphical User Interface (GUI). The ultimate aim of this newly created software package is to reduce errors and improve radiographic and fluoroscopic room designs over manual approaches.
Floor plans are first imported as images into the RadShield software program. These plans serve as templates for drawing barriers, occupied regions and x-ray tube locations. We have implemented sub-GUIs that allow the specification in regions and equipment for occupancy factors, design goals, number of patients, primary beam directions, source-to-patient distances and workload distributions. Once the user enters the above parameters, the program automatically calculates air-kerma rate at sampled points beyond all barriers. For each sample point, a corresponding minimum barrier thickness is calculated to meet the design goal. RadShield allows control over preshielding, sample point location and material types.
A functional GUI package was developed and tested. Examination of sample walls and source distributions yields a maximum percent difference of less than 0.1% between hand-calculated air-kerma rates and RadShield.
The initial results demonstrated that RadShield calculates air-kerma rates and required barrier thicknesses with reliable accuracy and can be used to make radiation shielding design more efficient and accurate. This newly developed approach differs from conventional calculation methods in that it finds air-kerma rates and thickness requirements for many points outside the barriers, stores the information and selects the largest value needed to comply with NCRP Report 147 design goals. Floor plans, parameters, designs and reports can be saved and accessed later for modification and recalculation. We have confirmed that this software accurately calculates air-kerma rates and required barrier thicknesses for diagnostic radiography and fluoroscopic rooms.