VirtuRAD – realistische Einsatzübungen im Strahlenschutz

Titelgrafik: ABC-Erkunder vor Alpenpanorama

gefördert durch den Verein zur Förderung des 1. ABC-Zuges München-Land e.V.

Wappen des ABC-Zugs München-Land

The technology of VirtuRAD

VirtuRAD makes use of the indoor positiong system Pozyx ( A mock doserate measurement device is equipped with Pozyx. Thus, the position of the measurement device is continuously tracked with centimeter precision. Then VirtuRAD calculates the doserate at the position of the device. Finally this value is transmitted to the display of the device. The training team does not observe any difference to a real measurement result.

VirtuRAD allows the layout of arbitrary radiation point sources. You determine where these sources are placed within the training area. VirtuRAD calculates the doserate in the vicinity of the sources and takes into account the shielding of the radiation by walls, doors, etc. This makes the calculated doserate really realistic. For example, the training staff can also put a radiation source into a shield so that the calculated doserate decreased accordingly.

VirtuRAD records all relevant parameters each second so that the performance of the staff can later be evaluated. This also makes it possible to conduct studies about appropriate behaviour of the staff or the effectiveness of measures.

Part 1 of VirtuRAD: the software, where the user defines sources and shields and where the doserate is calculated
screenshot of the VirtuRAD software with spatial presentation of the doserate
Part 2 of VirtuRAD: the mock measurement device with the Pozyx module and screen
mock measurement device shown open with screen and Pozyx module

How to prepare an exercise

Dialogue for setting the sources
Screenshot from the VirtuRAD software: Dialogue for setting the sources with various entries

Preparing exercises with Pozyx requires three steps, of which the first one is the most extensive. However this step must only be executed once for each exercise environment.

Drawing the floorplan

The floorplan is a bitmap graphics file, which can easily be drawn in standard graphics software such as Paint. Differently coloured lines represent shieldings, such as walls or lead castles.

Positioning the anchors

A crucial part of the Pozyx system, which VirtuRAD uses for positioning, is its anchors, i.e. four electronic devices that are placed in the corners of the exercise environment. Their positions must be entered into the software.

Setting and positioning the sources

VirtuRAD lets you distribute one or more sources in arbitrary strength throughout the exercise environment. The source strength is determined by their doserate at 1 m distance or by the selected radionuclide and its activity.

Features during an exercise

Dialogue for changing the shields
Screenshot from the VirtuRad software: Dialogue for changing the shields with various dropdown boxes

The most simple application of VirtuRAD is a radiation source at a fixed position that has to be spotted by the exercising staff using a doserate meter. However, VirtuRAD offers much more sophisticated features:

Change the floorplan

The exercise environment can change during an exercise. Doors and shielding containers can be opened and closed and thus alter the doserate. These changes can easily be simulated by drawing or removing lines on the floorplan.

Moving a source

Many exercises will require to recover a source, thus to move it from its original position into a safe confinement. Using a Pozyx device as a simulated source, VirtuRAD will recognize every movement of the source.