Effective and efficient expertise
Linac commissioning is a time-consuming process, so outsourcing the beam data collection could be an option to consider. NPL offers support in the form of staff time, equipment and expertise to assist in the beam data acquisition part of the commissioning process. If required, we can also offer support during linac CAT and matching process. A subset of the measurements would serve as linac QA baseline. Photon and electron independent verification audits are also available prior to release of a machine for clinical use.
NPL acquires measurements with treatment planning system (TPS) modelling purposes, but also with TPS model verification intentions. We understand the requirements for most of the TPS available in the market (independent and linac dependent).
NPL can provide measurement equipment, including 3D water phantoms and associated software, and various types of detectors:
- Cylindrical and plane parallel ionisation chambers
- Small volume ionisation chambers for measurements in small fields
- Stereotactic, electron, and photon diodes are also available
- Secondary standard electrometers for relative output measurements
Depending on your needs, NPL can provide one or two members of staff on-site for two to four weeks, as required, and the possibility of two NPL teams working simultaneously in two different linacs at the same institution.
In the case of mobile linacs or low-energy and medium-energy X-ray equipment, it is possible to perform the beam data acquisition process at NPL premises in Teddington.
If required, NPL personnel can support the local specialists by setting the fields needed for modelling and verification purposes that are not part of the standard settings in linac consoles.
We are capable of working with most of the 3D water phantom solutions available. Therefore, if convenient, all the beam data acquisition work can be performed by NPL using the local measurement systems and detectors.
Typical data for X-rays and electron beams will be acquired according to the TPS and/or on measurements list requirements previously agreed with the local specialists. Independently of the scanning solution used, NPL will create the relevant queues for the tasks involved. Generally, acquired data will include:
- Profiles and ionisation and depth dose curves, electron isodose
- Square, rectangular and asymmetric, open and wedged fields
- Output factor measurements, including small fields
- Dose point measurements in conditions different from reference
Besides conventional linacs, we are also able to provide expertise for MR linac beam data collection and independent absolute dose verification based on alanine measurements.
A CD or USB with all the collected (raw and processed) data will be delivered to you, shortly after finishing the job. That, together with a comprehensive report of the process, with all the relevant details which will contribute towards your departmental commissioning portfolio.
We keep in touch during our service and respond to any technical queries during and after we have finished any particular task.