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RSCS Issued Patent for Innovative Contamination Probe Simulator
Posted on September 2nd, 2014

RSCS is pleased to announce the recent issuance of US Patent 8,794,973 “Contamination detection simulation systems and methods”. The invention improves upon conventional training methods of simulating surface contamination detection by automatically adjusting the measurement display of the survey instrument as the training probe-to-surface orientation or distance changes over a simulated contaminated area, instilling proper technique to the trainee of how to operate a probe/detector. The invention does not require the use of simulants or any peripheral detection device. Application of the invention is suitable to many fields where detectors, including radiation detectors, chemical detectors, and the like are used, and where training is required in using survey instruments; such as environmental cleanup, waste monitoring, and emergency response.

RSCS has developed and manufactured a simulator product line that includes gamma, beta and alpha training probes, associated meter and dosimeter interfaces, simulated “live” detectable sources, and a wireless control system that provides trainers with the ability to remotely control and configure the training devices. In most cases, the simulated probes will connect to un-modified meters in the field, without requiring a simulated meter for the training environment.  This recent patented probe/detector simulator design first requires the instructor to wirelessly set or adjust the maximum count rate of a simulated contaminated surface. Thereafter, only when the instructor determines the trainee frisking an area has moved the probe over a “contaminated surface”, or away from it, does the instructor wirelessly send a command for the meter to begin, or discontinue, detecting contamination.  The proximity based technology automatically compensates for changes in distance and orientation of the detector to the surface. As the student moves the probe further, closer, or rotates the orientation of the detector, the count rate displayed on the meter will realistically change according to the 1/R2 principle, increasing to the preset maximum count rate on contact with the surface or decreasing to zero or other preset background level.  Compared with conventional training methods of simulating surface contamination detection, this automated technology greatly reduces the continuous, demanding control actions required on the part of the instructor. In addition, it allows for unlimited options in the size, shape and location of the simulated “contaminated surface” area.

This patented simulator technology has been deployed extensively to the US military in both shielded beta and standard alpha radiation training probes that interface with un-modified, fielded instruments.  Over 1000 units have been fielded.  This technology compliments additional RSCS simulator designs, which include various alpha, beta, and gamma probes, personal dosimeters, and Ion Chamber instruments.  RSCS has also recently deployed a new autonomous simulator technology that employs dynamic proximity detection between “live” sources and training meters to conduct realistic training scenarios – completely hands-free on the part of the trainer.  For more information about this and other RSCS simulator technologies, please contact Steve Nester at sdnester@radsafety.com.  To view US Patent 8,794,973, please click here.


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