|Title of Invention
A DIGITAL POCKET DOSEMETER FOR MEASUREMENT OF RADIATION DOSE FROM IONIZING X AND GAMMA RADIATIONS
|A digital pocket dosemeter for measurement of radiation dose from ionizing X and Gamma radiation of energy greater than 60 KeV comprising: i) detector means of the ionizing radiation comprising silicon p-n junction voltage rectifier diode with peak inverse voltage greater than 800V having sensitivity to X or Gamma radiation in the energy range 60 KeV to 1.25 MeV within + 15%; ii) CMOS charge sensitive pulse amplifier based on a CMOS inverter for amplifying said electrical impulses at low voltage and power consumption less than a 0.4mW; iii) a low power discriminator electronic circuit to reject unwanted electrical noise impulses from said electrical impulses, said low power discriminator electronic circuit responds to electrical voltage pulses of amplitude greater than a set threshold voltage and shapes these pulses into pulses of constant amplitude at the output; iv) a programmable divider circuit to achieve a calibration of one impulse per|a,SV, using binary divider to divide the pulses from the output of said discriminator; v) a discriminator threshold modulation circuit operatively connected to the said detector to achieve an uniform response for X and Gamma rays in the energy range of 60 KeV to 1.25 MeV within ±15%; vi) a fast response Amplifier to achieve linear response upto a dose rate 5 Sv/h; vii) an electronic radiation dose counter module to count said unrejected impulses and to store and indicate up to 999999 U.SV of integral radiation dose; viii) means to display said count cumulatively; and ix) a compact battery power source.
THE PATENTS ACT 1970 COMPLETE SPECIFICATION
(See Section 10)
A DIGITAL POCKET DOSEMETER FOR MESURMENT
OF RADIATION DOSE FROM IONIZINING X AND
Department of Atomic Energy,
Government of India,
Anushakti Bhavan, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Marg
Mumbai 400 001
The following specification particularly describes the nature of the invention and the manner in which it is to be performed :-
Field of Invention
This invention relates to active, compact, pocket-type devices used for monitoring the cumulative radiation dose received by persons working in X & Gamma radiation environments. This invention rentes particularly to such devices commonly known as personnel monitoring radiation dosemeters and more particularly to dosemeters incorporating solid state semiconductor detectors. Background and Prior Art
Personal monitoring is invariably carried out using passive dosemeters incorporating either photographic film or thermoluminescent dosemeters. "However tnese dosemeters are being supplemented by electronic devices for use as a warning device in high dose rate areas. The electronic dosemeters usually incorporate either a miniature GM counter or a solid state semiconductor detector and are designed to measure deep dose equivalent for photons in the range of 60 KeV to 1.3 MeV- The integrated dose is digitally displayed and in some of the pocket dosemeters visual / oral preset dose alarm is also provided. Microprocessor based versions of electronic dosemeters are also commercially available with sophisticated data acquisition and storage capabilities. (See Delacroix, D., Guelin, M., Lyron, C. and Feraud, J.P. "Dosicard: on-site evaluation of a new individual dosimetry system", Radiat. Prot. Dosim. 58(3), 193-199(1905). And Toshikazu, Yoshiyuki Nagase, Takeshi Ishikura, Eisuke Okamoto, and Yoshiteru Yoshida, "A high reliability Personal Alarm Dosemeter with a semiconductor detector", Fuji electric Co. Ltd., Tokyo 191, Japan).
US 4996429 (1991) describes an instrument for measuring ionization radiation acting upon a person. It can be carried in the pocket of a garment. It has a radiation detector exposed to a wide angle of ionizing radiation and a display unit showing the radiation received by the instrument. The instrument operates on rechargeable battery, has high power consumption and is bulky.
US 4430569 (1984) describes a pocket type radiation dosemeter and a charging circuit. It is a compact, light-weight, usable by the layman, but the dosemeter proper is of conventional design at that time. The charging circuit includes a shake-type electrostatic generator, a voltage doubler for integrating generator output voltage of one polarity, and a switch operated by external permanent magnet. This type of dosemeter is based on an ion chamber radiation detector and a quartz fibre electrometer. The dosemeter is read by
observing the position of a quartz fibre over a nonlinear scale through an eye piece. However, it has poor resolution ( >10> Sv), limited range and it is highly susceptible to vibration, shock and humidity. Further it has no easy-to-read digital display.
US 4857739(1989) describes pocket personal radiation monitor of the "chirper" type. A battery powered high voltage power supply is used to generate and apply a high voltage bias to a G-M tube radiation sensor. The high voltage is monitored by a low-loss sensing network which generates a feedback signal to control the high voltage power supply such that the high voltage bias is recharged to + 500 VDC when the current pulses of the sensor, generated by the detection of ionizing radiation events, discharges the high voltage bias to +450V DC. During the high voltage recharge period an audio transducer is activated to produce an audible "chirp". The rate of the "chirps" is controlled by rate at which the high voltage bias is recharged, which is proportional to the radiation field intensity to which the sensor is exposed. The "chirp" rate sensitivity is set to be approximately 1.5 (chirps / Min / mR/hr). The G-M tube sensor is used in a current sensing mode so that the device does not paralyze in a high radiation field. This instrument, uses GM counter as detector, which can provide only a qualitative indication of the radiation dose through chirps, has no digital display of accumulated dose, is not of pen-type, has higher power consumption and is bulky.
US 5132543 (1992) describes an electronic pocket dosimeter based on a GM tube sensor.
US 4608655 (1986) describes a wrist watch dosimeter based on an expensive CdTe (Cadmium Telluride) radiation sensor.
US 5567946 (1996) describes a pocket dosemeter but it is not of digital type.
EP 0581422 (1994) relates to a Particle Dosimeter comprising of diodes for measurement of equivalent radiation dose due to neutrons, protons, electrons and photons and hence not relevant to the current invention.
With the wide spread use of radio isotopes for a number of applications and the rapid growth of atomic energy programmes world wide, there has been a need for an accurate and low cost pocket type dosemeter provided with a convenient readout device. There are a number of such dosemeters commercially available. These dosemeters use Geiger -Mueller (GM) counters or specially fabricated P-l-N Si semiconductors as the detector and some ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) for processing the radiation induced signal from the detector and are generally expensive. The object of this invention is to
develop a low cost pocket dosemeter using readily available components including the
There are different types of dosemeters presently in the field. Each of these is having certain
unique features. Some of these are:
(i) Geiger - Mueller (GM) counters or specially fabricated P-l-N Si semiconductor
diodes as the detector and some ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) for
processing the radiation induced signal from the detector and are generally
expensive, (ii) Use of low capacitance type planar diffusion type Si photodiodes or Si heterojunction
diodes, (iii) Use of reverse bias of several tens of volts for the detector to get sufficient sensitivity, (iv) Use of elaborate zero suppression circuits to achieve acceptable background level
counts, (v) Usable up to a maximum radiation dose rate of 0.5 Sv/h. (Sv is an unit of radiation
Some models in the market relevant to the dosemeter of the present invention are:
(a) Electronics Corporation of India Ltd. (ECIL) make pocket dosemeter model PD 4506 uses GM Tube as detector, has a sensitivity of 10 ΜSV per count, bulky (160mm X 65mm X 25mm), heavy (160 gms) and maximum dose range of only 10 mSv. ( See "Digital Dosimetry System", Electronics Corporation of India Ltd. ECIL P.O., Hyderabad, 500762).
(b) Pulsecho Systems Pvt. Ltd., Model "Dosirad" is GM tube radiation detector based, bulky ( 125mm X 50mm X 25mm ) and heavy ( 175 gm ). ("Dosirad", Pulsecho Systems (Bombay) Pvt.Ltd., Unit 110, Nirmal Industrial Estate, Near Sion Fort, Sion(E), Bombay 400 022.)
(c) PLA Electro Appliances Pvt. Ltd., Models PDM 103 & PDM 221L are GM tube radiation detector based, dose range of up to 100 mSv only, bulky (120mm X 65mm X 23mm) and heavy. ("Pocket Dosemeter" models PDM 221L & PDM 103, PLA Electro Appliances Pvt.Ltd., Thakor Estate, Kurla Kirol Road, Vidyavihar (W), Mumbai 400 086).
(d) "Personal Digital Dosemeter, Model 885"; Victoreen, Inc. ( Cleveland, OH, 1989)
(e) "Alarm Pocket Dosemeter (APD)", Panasonic, Matsushita Electric Trading Co., Ltd. (Osaka, Japan)
(f) Personal Electronic Dosimeter DMC 2000 XB, etc., MGP Instruments Inc., 5000 Highlands Parkway, Suite 150, Smyrna, Georgia 30082.
(g) Electronic Pocket Dosimeter, MyDOSE mini, Model PDM-102, Aloka Co. Ltd., 6-22-1, Mure, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo, 181-8622, Japan.
Drawbacks of the prior art:
The main drawback of the prior art is that the dosemeters presently available in the market
are very expensive as they make use of expensive radiation detectors and ASICs /
Most of the pocket dosemeters are heavy to carry them on the person throughout days in
and out. Another drawback is that the size of some of these pocket dosemeters is not so
convenient to keep them on person in the normal dress pocket.
Some of the dosemeters have high power consumption requiring either bulky batteries to
provide continuous operation for at least 300 hours or rechargeable batteries to facilitate 12-
24 hour continuous operation requiring over night external charging of batteries.
The principal object of the invention is to make a dosemeter for personal use cheap, smaIMn
size and light in weight to make it convenient to wear it.
Another object of the invention is to make it appropriately sensitive to low levels of radiation
and at the same time respond linearly to high radiation exposure rates, which may be
encountered in an accident situation.
Summary of the invention:
Accordingly the present invention relates to a low cost, digital pocket dosemeter for
measurement of radiation dose from ionising X and Gamma radiation of energy greater than
i) means for converting said ionising radiation into electrical impulses;
ii) means for amplifying said electrical impulses at low voltage and power consumption less than a 0.4 mW;
iii) means to reject unwanted electrical noise impulses from said electrical
iv) means to achieve a calibration of one impulse per μSv ;
v) means to achieve linear response up to a dose rate 5 Sv/h;
vi) means to count said unrejected impulses;
vii) means to display said count cumulatively; and
viii) a power source, housed in a pocket size housing.
Description of the preferred embodiment of the invention:
The dosemeter of the present invention comprises a) means to detect ionising radiation in the form of electric charge pulses; b) amplifier to amplify these electrical pulses; c) means to discriminate (a discriminator) and filter out noise or extraneous pulses which do not originate from ambient X & gamma radiation; d) means for counting and displaying the cumulative exposure; and e) means for warning battery replacement when due; all these parts are made of light weight and low volume, inexpensive components and all assembled in a tube of rectangular cross section suitable for keeping in a personal pocket. Some of the characteristic features of the invention are described below:
a) As a means to detect ionising radiation in the form of electric charge pulses, a low cost
commercially available Silicon p-n junction, high voltage rectifier diode having sensitivity
to X or gamma radiation in the energy range of 60KeV to 2 MeV is employed as a
radiation detector. This Si diode is readily available for use as a high voltage rectifier in
In the prior art types of dosemeters, use of specially fabricated, and hence expensive, p-
n junction device as a radiation detector or GM tube as a radiation detector has been
described. GM tube radiation detector is usually a gas-filled glass or metallic tube, which
operates at a high voltage of 450V or more and converts the ionization in the detector
caused by the incidence of ionizing radiation into electrical pulses.
b) A circuit has been designed for operation of Si diode detector at a low reverse bias of 4V
± 0.2V to achieve a low power, low noise & stable operation. Further features of this
circuit are :
A regulated voltage source of 4V using a commercially available low drop-out linear regulator is useful for applying a stable reverse bias (the anode is given a negative potential with respect to cathode) to the said detector. This regulator is an electronic circuit that produces a constant output voltage as long as the input voltage is at least a few mV (typically 50mV) greater than the output voltage.
The direct advantage of this feature is in low power consumption and low noise operation. Thus there is a reduction in power consumption due to the absence of power consuming & noisy step up DC - DC converter, which is, required in the prior art instruments wherein a higher voltage reverse bias has to be applied to the detector. All relevant prior art types use reverse bias of several tens of volts for the detector to get sufficient sensitivity.
Another advantage of this feature of the present invention is its stable operation; offers the stability of the characteristics of the various circuit elements due to the constancy of the applied supply voltage obtained using the voltage regulator.
c) A low cost CMOS (Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) charge sensitive pulse amplifier operating at 4V with a power consumption of less than 0.4mW using a CMOS amplifier. A charge sensitive pulse amplifier electronic circuit amplifies the total charge content of the pulse at the input of the amplifier to higher amplitude pulses at the output by a fixed factor called gain of the amplifier. The gain is adjusted in such a way that the instrument is sensitive to low energy radiation (>60keV) and at same time the noise pulses (pulses present at the output of the amplifier caused by sources other than X & Gamma radiation exposure) at the output of the amplifier are of lower amplitude compared to the amplitude of the pulses caused by exposure to low energy radiation. Further, the power consumption is very low because a CMOS inverter is adapted as amplifier.
d) The radiation detector along with an amplifier of required characteristics as described in 'c', enclosed in an energy compensation filter at a low cost of less than Rs 50/ and at a power consumption of 0.1 mA at a low operating voltage of 4V.
e) A simple, low power discrimiriator circuit to reject unwanted electrical noise pulses from
This discriminator electronic circuit responds to electrical (voltage) pulses of amplitude greater than a set threshold (that can be adjusted) voltage of the discriminator, and shapes these pulses into pulses of constant amplitude at the output. This circuit eliminates background counts by cutting off the noise pulses which form part of the amplified pulses from the detector, which are caused by the factors other than the ionising radiation of interest.
The instruments of prior art types use elaborate zero suppression circuits to achieve acceptable background level counts.
f) The Dosemeter has an usable radiation dose rate range from 1(xSv/h to 5 Sv/h.
The dosemeter responds linearly to radiation dose rates, at which the radiation is received, up to the specified range within ± 20%.
In the instruments of the prior art this usable radiation dose rate range is from l^iSv/h to 0.3 Sv/h.
g) The dosemeter is made from readily available conventional electronic components such
as CMOS integrated circuits CD4024, MAX 972, MAX8864,etc.
This components are commercial available for use in a number of electronic circuit
applications. This aspect is important from the point of view of reducing the cost of the invention. Instruments of the prior art types of comparable size use expensive ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) exclusively designed for processing the radiation induced signal from the detector.
A programmable divider circuit using binary divider CD 4024 to divide the pulses from the output of the discriminator to achieve a calibration of one pulse per μSv. (1 μSv = one millionth fraction of the unit Sv). This is an electronic circuit that accepts at the input pulses of repetition rate 'f and produces output pulses of repetition rate f/N where N is an integer variable. 'N' is variable from 1 to 31 using a 5 way DIP (Dual-Inline-Package) switch.
An electronic radiation dose counter module with a seven segment, 6-digit, LCD display device to store and indicate UP to 999999 μSv of integral radiation dose. This counter is
a digital electronic circuit that counts each pulse of pre-defined height & width at its input corresponding to one unit of radiation dose.
Electronic radiation dose counter means a digital electronic circuit that counts each pulse of pre-defined height & width at its input corresponding to one unit of radiation dose.
h) In another embodiment of the invention, there is provided a battery low indication / warning through a LED (Light emitting Diode). In another embodiment, the LED blinks when battery voltage is low. The blinking frequency indicates the battery state. Blinking starts at a low frequency of one flash per 4 seconds, when approximately 8 hours of battery life is still available.
i) A specially designed energy compensation filter to provide uniform sensitivity within ± 25% from 60 KeV to 1.3 MeV.
j) Achievement of a small Printed Circuit Board consisting of all the necessary circuit components in surface mount package comparable in size to the prior art types with expensive ASIC of thickness 0.8mm width 25mm and length 80mm The PCB is housed in a rectangular Aluminium tube of length 73mm, height 12mm and width 30mm, with the two ends closed with plastic caps as shown in Figure.2
k) Small size & weight (Size: 110mm L X 30mm W X 14mm H excluding Clip, Weight: 60
|l) Low cost: Rs 5,000/.
Fabrication of a prototype is described below:
The invention will now be illustrated by a prototype fabricated. The detailed description, specifications, features and drawings (Figures 1-6) of the prototype given below are by way of illustration only and do not restrict the scope of the invention.
A prototype of the instrument having all the features of the present invention has been achieved. The construction of prototype has been described in the drawings 1-6 and its specifications are given below
A small Printed Circuit Board consisting of all the necessary circuit components in surface
mount package comparable in size to the prior art types with expensive ASIC. It is a single printed circuit board of thickness 0.8mm width 25mm and length 80mm containing the entire electronic circuitry.
ii) A two part chrome plated battery clamp soldered to one end of the PCB and held in place by a plastic holder to house two numbers of coin type Li battery CR2320.
iii) The PCB is housed in a rectangular Aluminium tube of length 73mm, height 14mm and width 30mm, with the two ends closed with plastic caps as shown in Figure.2
iv) A specially designed plastic clip fixed to rear side of the Aluminium tube capable of holding the weight of the instrument.
v) This prototype has small size & weight (Size: 110mm L X 30mm W X 14mm H excluding Clip, Weight: 60 gm).
vi) The comparative cost of this instrument would be about Rs 5,000/-, when the equivalent prior art instrument would cost about Rs 12,000.
Specifications of the prototype are as follows:
Radiation detected Detector used Range of measurement Energy dependence Readout accuracy Dose rate range
Low Battery Indication
& Gamma radiation (>40KeV)
PN junction Si semiconductor
1μsv to 99999 μSv. : Within ± 25% from 60 KeV to 1.3Mev : Within ± 15% for 137Cs, up to 0.5 Sv/h : Within ±10% (0.5 Sv/h)
Within ± 20% (5 Sv /h) : 0 - 45 °C; 90% RH (non-condensing) : Coin type Lithium Battery (CR 2320 x 2) : Continuous use of 300 hr. (Approximate) : One count per μSv : 6 Digit LCD
:30(W)X 110 (L)X 14 (D) mm (Excluding the Clip) : Approximately 60 gm. : Indicated by the sixth digit.
: Battery Low LED blinks when battery is low. Blinking frequency is indicative of battery state. Blinking starts at a low frequency of 0.2 pps, when 8 hr. (approximate) of battery life is still available. When blinking frequency
is approximately 1pps or more, the dosemeter reading
is not reliable.
Brief description of the drawings:
The invention will now be illustrated with the help of drawings of the prototype in respect of a
dosemeter according to the present invention. The drawings are for illustration only and in
no way restrict the scope of the present invention.
Fig. 1 : Block Diagram of a dosemeter of the present invention
Fig. 2 : A photographic view of the dosemeter described in Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 : Diagram of detector-amplifier module of the dosemeter described in Fig. 1
Fig. 4 : Diagram of discriminator and programmable divider described in Fig.1
Fig. 5 : Low drop-out voltage regulator circuit of the dosemeter described in Fig.1
Fig. 6 : Battery low warning circuit for the dosemeter described in Fig.1
In this invention namely the digital pocket radiation dosemeter, a detector 1 is used to convert the ionising radiation into electrical signals in the form of voltage or charge pulses. These pulses are amplified by a pulse amplifier 6 to acceptable levels, which would permit further processing of these pulses. An electronic device called discriminator 9 is used to reject that part of the amplified pulses from the detector which are caused by factors other than ionizing radiation of interest. The pulses, after discrimination, are divided by a programmable electronic divider 10 and fed to an electronic radiation dose counter 11. The divider is programmed in such a way that one count in the radiation counter corresponds to 1μSv. A display device 12 connected to the dose radiation counter is used to indicate the instantaneous value of the integral dose stored in the radiation counter.
The present invention as well as the objects, features and advantages thereof can be more fully understood from the following detailed description of the product in conjunction with the drawings in which
FIG.1 Block Diagram of a dosemeter of the present invention:
This is the block diagram of the digital pocket dosemeter embodying the invention. A radiation dose of 1 (μSV corresponds toapproximately 20 pulses delivered by the detector 1 over and above the electrical noise pulses. The detector is applied a reverse bias (The detector has two electrodes, anode & Cathode. Reverse bias means that anode is given a negative potential with respect to cathode) through resistor 5. The pulses from the detector
are amplified by the pulse amplifier 6 and are fed to a discriminator 9. The discriminator passes to its output only those pulses of height more than the threshold voltage applied to it. The threshold voltage is adjusted through resistor 7 and potentiometer 8, to cut off the noise pulses. The pulses at the output of the discriminator are fed to a programmable divider 10. The programmable divider can be adjusted so as to produce one pulse at the output for every 20 pulses at the input so that 1 count corresponds to 1μSv at the output of the
programmable divider. These pulses are then fed to a 6-digit electronic counter 11 which is incremented by every pulse and the total number of pulses received by the counter up to any instant of time remains stored in the counter. The contents of the counter are displayed by the display device 12, which is a seven-segment, 6-digit LCD display. The entire circuitry is powered by a 6V Lithium battery 3. The battery voltage is regulated to 4V by a voltage regulator 3B and applied to the circuitry. The condition of the battery is monitored by a battery low indicator circuit 4. When the battery voltage falls below the acceptable limit LED 2 starts flashing. The switch 3A provides the means of switching dosemeter 'On' and 'off'. The detector-amplifier portion of the PCB is provided with an energy compensation filter which also doubles as an electro-magnetic shield and potted using a polyurethane potting compound to protect against malfunctioning of the circuitry due to vibrations. The power consumption of the dosemeter is about 0.3mA when subjected to radiation field of 1 mSv/h. The entire circuit is based on surface mount components to make the instrument compact. The size of the instrument is 110mm L X 30mm W X 14mm H.
Fig.2 : A photographic view of the dosemeter described in Fig. 1
This shows a complete pocket dosemeter according to the present invention. The dosemeter circuitry is enclosed in a powder coated rectangular aluminium tube 14 fitted with plastic caps 13 on both sides. The dosemeter is provided with an On-Off Switch 15 for switching off the unit when not in use. Fig.3 : Diagram of detector-amplifier module of the dosemeter described in Fig. 1
This is the detector and amplifier part of the circuitry. The detector 16 is reverse biased by connecting the cathode to VCC (a regulated voltage obtained using a voltage regulator described in Fig.1) and the anode to circuit common through resistor 17. The pulses from the detector are fed .to the charge-sensitive pulse amplifier comprising of CMOS amplifier 20A, input capacitor 18, feed back capacitor 19 and resistor 21. The pulses are amplified by
three more stages of amplifiers comprising of resistors 23, 25 & 27, capacitors 22, 24 & 26 and CMOS amplifiers 20B, 20C & 20D.
Fig.4 : Diagram of discriminator and programmable divider described in Fig.1
Fig.4 is the discriminator and programmable divider part of the circuit. The pulses from the
amplifier output are fed to the discriminator comprising of comparator 32 (MAX 972) through
capacitor 28 & resistor 29. The network of resistor 30 and variable resistor (potentiometer)
31 provide the threshold for the discriminator. The threshold is adjusted using the
potentiometer 31. The pulses from the output of the discriminator are fed to the
programmable divider comprising of CMOS 8 bit binary counter CD 4024, 33, DIP (Dual In-
lineTaikage) switch 34^diodes 35, 36, 37, 38 & 39 and resistor 40. The diodes 35 to 39
along with resisto? 40 constitute a five-input "AND" gate. The inputs of this AND gate can be
selectively connected to the first five binary outputs of the counter 33 through the DIP switch
33. The AND gate output is connected to the reset input of the binary divider. Thus by
selecting Ihe DIP switch positions any combination of the five outputs Q1 to Q5 can be
connected to the AND gate inputs resulting in resetting of the counter after any reqired
number_of pulses from 1 to 31. Thus the output of the divider circuit can be programmed to
provide division from 1 to 31. ■
Fig.5 : Low drop-out voltage regulator circuit of the dosemeter described in Fig.1
Fig.5 is the low drop-out voltage regulator circuit. The circuit comprises of capacitors 42 & 45, resistors 46 & 47 and integrated circuit 44 (Max 8864). The 6V input from the Lithium battery 41 is regulated to 4V (VCC) at the output of the regulator. 43 is the on-off switch used to switch the unit on and off. The output voltage VCC remains at 4V till the battery voltage drains to about 4.1V.
Fig.6: Battery low warning circuit for the dosemeter described in Fig.1
This is the battery low indicator circuit. It comprises of a low power comparator 57 (Max 972), resistors 48, 49, 50, 51, 53 & 56, diode 54, capacitor 52 and LED 55. A fixed threshold voltage derived from the regulated voltage VCC through resistors 50 & 51 is applied to the positive input of the comparator 57. A sample of the battery voltage derived through resistors 48 & 49 is applied to the negative input of the comparator. Normally battery voltage sample is higher than the threshold voltage of the comparator and hence the output of the
comparator remains high. The LED 55 remains off. When battery voltage goes below the threshold voltage, the output of the comparator goes low and the LED goes on. Now the capacitor 52 is discharged through resistor 53, diode 54 & the output of the comparator. The voltage at the junction of resistors 50 & 51 is reduced below the threshold voltage and hence the comparator output goes high. The LED goes off. The diode 54 is now reverse biased and the discharge stops. The capacitor gets charged through resistor 50 to the original level and the LED goes on. This cycle repeats and the LED flashes. The frequency of flashing is adjusted in such a way that, with about 8 hours of battery life remaining, the flashing rate is one flash per 3 seconds and at the end of life of the batteryjhellashing rate 2-3 flashes per second. Thus the flashing LED method of battery low indication, apart from indicating the state of the battery through the rate of flashing, results in a significant reduction in the current drain from the battery during the initial warning phase of the indication.
Advantages of the invention:
A low cost radiation dose meter of the present invention, based on a silicon semiconductor diode detector has been developed. It has low power consumption leading to over 300 hours of operation without the need for changing the battery. Compared to the prior art quartz fibre electrometer based ion chamber pocket dosemeter, the present invention is more rugged, accurate, has a much wider usable range and easily readable digital display. Unlike the prior art GM counter detector based pocket dosemeters, the present invention is light in weight and is easy to carry in a shirt pocket. It is much lower in cost due to the use of readily available, off-the-shelf electronic components, than similar commercially available dosemeters which are based on a specially fabricated semiconductor detectors and Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs).
We claim :
1. A digital pocket dosemeter for measurement of radiation dose from ionizing X and
Gamma radiation of energy greater than 60 KeV comprising:
i) detector means of the ionizing radiation comprising silicon p-n junction
voltage rectifier diode with peak inverse voltage greater than 800V having
sensitivity to X or Gamma radiation in the energy range 60 KeV to 1.25
MeV within + 15%; ii) CMOS charge sensitive pulse amplifier based on a CMOS inverter for
amplifying said electrical impulses at low voltage and power consumption
less than a 0.4mW; iii) a low power discriminator electronic circuit to reject unwanted electrical
noise impulses from said electrical impulses, said low power discriminator
electronic circuit responds to electrical voltage pulses of amplitude greater
than a set threshold voltage and shapes these pulses into pulses of constant
amplitude at the output; iv) a programmable divider circuit to achieve a calibration of one impulse
per|a,SV, using binary divider to divide the pulses from the output of said
discriminator; v) a discriminator threshold modulation circuit operatively connected to the
said detector to achieve an uniform response for X and Gamma rays in the
energy range of 60 KeV to 1.25 MeV within ±15%; vi) a fast response Amplifier to achieve linear response upto a dose rate 5 Sv/h; vii) an electronic radiation dose counter module to count said unrejected
impulses and to store and indicate up to 999999 U.SV of integral radiation
dose; viii) means to display said count cumulatively; and ix) a compact battery power source.
2. A digital pocket dosemeter as claimed in claim 1 comprising a single printed circuit
board housing operating citcuitry with means for mounting surface mount
3. A digital pocket dosemeter as claimed in anyone of claims 1 or 2 wherein the said power source comprise a pair of 6V lithium battery having means to indicate the status of batteries.
4. A digital pocket dosemeter as claimed in anyone of claims 1 to 3 wherein said operating circuitry and components are housed in a pocket size tubular/cylindrical housing.
5. A digital pocket dosemeter as claimed in anyone of claims 3 or 4 wherein means to show status of batteries comprise means for changing frequency of blinking of a LED.
6. A digital pocket dosemeter as claimed in anyone of claims 1 to 5 adapted for operation at a stable low reverse bias of 4 + 0.2 V.
7. A digital pocket dosemeter as claimed in anyone of claims 1 to 6 comprising an energy compensation filter along with said discriminator modulation circuit.
8. A digital pocket dosemeter as claimed in anyone of claims 1 to 7 comprising a low dropout voltage regulator adapted to maintain constant operating voltage of said impulse amplifier as long as the battery voltage is at least 50 mV above the operating voltage.
9. A digital pocket dosemeter as claimed in anyone of claims 1 to 8 comprising means for maintaining the required operating voltage of said impulse amplifier at an optimized gain for maximum sensitivity for said radiation.
10. A digital pocket dosemeter substantially as herein described and illustrated with reference to the accompanying example and drawings.
Dated this 14th day of May 2001
Of S.MAJUMDAR & CO.
|Indian Patent Application Number
|PG Journal Number
|Date of Filing
|Name of Patentee
|DEPARTMENT OF ATOMIC ENERGY
|ANUSHAKTHI BHAVAN, CHATRAPATHI SHIVAJI MAHARAJ MARG, MUMBAI 400001, STATE OF MAHARASHTRA, INDIA.
|PCT International Classification Number
|PCT International Application Number
|PCT International Filing date