Portable x-ray examinations often account for a large percentage of all radiographic examinations. Currently, portable examinations do not employ automatic exposure control (AEC). To aid in the design of a size-specific technique chart, acrylic slabs of various thicknesses are often used to estimate x-ray transmission for patients of various body thicknesses. This approach, while simple, does not account for patient anatomy, tissue heterogeneity, and the attenuation properties of the human body. To better account for these factors, in this work, we determined x-ray transmission factors using computational patient models that are anatomically realistic. A Monte Carlo program was developed to model a portable x-ray system. Detailed modeling was done of the x-ray spectrum, detector positioning, collimation, and source-to-detector distance. Simulations were performed using 18 computational patient models from the extended cardiac-torso (XCAT) family (9 males, 9 females; age range: 2-58 years; weight range: 12-117 kg). The ratio of air kerma at the detector with and without a patient model was calculated as the transmission factor. Our study showed that the transmission factor decreased exponentially with increasing patient thickness. For the range of patient thicknesses examined (12-28 cm), the transmission factor ranged from approximately 21% to 1.9% when the air kerma used in the calculation represented an average over the entire imaging field of view. The transmission factor ranged from approximately 21% to 3.6% when the air kerma used in the calculation represented the average signals from two discrete AEC cells behind the lung fields. These exponential relationships may be used to optimize imaging techniques for patients of various body thicknesses to aid in the design of clinical technique charts.
Objective was to develop a field-portable monitor for sensitive hazardous waste detection using active nitrogen energy transfer (ANET) excitation of atomic and molecular fluorescence (active nitrogen is made in a dielectric-barrier discharge in nitrogen). It should provide rapid field screening of hazardous waste sites to map areas of greatest contamination. Results indicate that ANET is very sensitive for monitoring heavy metals (Hg, Se) and hydrocarbons; furthermore, chlorinated hydrocarbons can be distinguished from nonchlorinated ones. Sensitivity is at ppB levels for sampling in air. ANET appears ideal for on-line monitoring of toxic heavy metal levels at building sites, hazardous waste land fills, in combustor flues, and of chlorinated hydrocarbon levels at building sites and hazardous waste dumps
A portable mass spectrometer with an electron cyclotron resonance ion source (miniECRIS-MS) was developed. It was used for in situ monitoring of trace amounts of chemical warfare agents (CWAs) in atmospheric air. Instrumental construction and parameters were optimized to realize a fast response, high sensitivity, and a small body size. Three types of CWAs, i.e., phosgene, mustard gas, and hydrogen cyanide were examined to check if the mass spectrometer was able to detect characteristic elements and atomic groups. From the results, it was found that CWAs were effectively ionized in the miniECRIS-MS, and their specific signals could be discerned over the background signals of air. In phosgene, the signals of the 35Cl+ and 37Cl+ ions were clearly observed with high dose-response relationships in the parts-per-billion level, which could lead to the quantitative on-site analysis of CWAs. A parts-per-million level of mustard gas, which was far lower than its lethal dosage (LCt50), was successfully detected with a high signal-stability of the plasma ion source. It was also found that the chemical forms of CWAs ionized in the plasma, i.e., monoatomic ions, fragment ions, and molecular ions, could be detected, thereby enabling the effective identification of the target CWAs. Despite the disadvantages associated with miniaturization, the overall performance (sensitivity and response time) of the miniECRIS-MS in detecting CWAs exceeded those of sector-type ECRIS-MS, showing its potential for on-site detection in the future. Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. 153554b96e