RTS Instruments - Monitoring for Safety

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Aerosol Monitoring

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RTS Instruments – Monitoring for Safety

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Aerosol Monitoring

The Aerosol Monitors are suited to detect and measure the radioactive contamination of air due to solid radioisotopes (alpha, beta or gamma emitters) attached to particulates suspended in air. This kind of measurement is necessary to prevent and/or evaluate inhaled radioactive aerosols by working personnel and population.
  • RAM Series
  • CAM/CCAM Series


RAM-01, RAM-31 and RAM-TF belong to the family of RTS air monitors, along with CAM/CCAM units, and other models, all employing advanced and well-tested technologies. All of them are presently equipped with the RTS MAB-03 monitoring processor allowing MCA analysis and multi-head configuration, coupled to the on-line ion implanted silicon detector. They may be used as mobile or fixed stand-alone instruments as well as peripheral stations in complex monitoring networks.
RAM-01 is a single filter monitor with manual changing while RAM-31 has the automatic filter changing capability (autonomy 31 filters as standard, 45 as option) and RAM-TF is the tape filter model, all designed as rack mounted unit, fully compliant with current and proposed requirements in applications such as real time monitoring of alpha, beta and, optionally (for models RAM-01NA, RAM-31NA, RAM-31GE) gamma emitting radio-nuclides, in duct/stack, workplace and environmental surveillance.
RAMs allow the continuous monitoring of the radioactive aerosols collected on a circular filter track from air using spectrometric techniques. They perform the on line alpha & beta (and optionally gamma) measurement from the filter using multi-channel analysis and proprietary algorithms to evaluate the presence of long-lived (‘artificial’) emitters and compensate/measure the short-lived (‘natural’) ones together with gamma background. The final results are the associated radioactivity concentrations in air, together with exposures and activities present on filter.
RAMs are characterised by a configuration based on a modular HW/SW architecture which allows easy maintenance, wide range of applications and expansion in terms of internal as well as external measurements. The local processor performs parameters set-up, filter control, data acquisition and processing, data readout and output, data base management, data collection from other eventual stations/sensors and data transfer and communication, via cables or wireless, to and from remote control units. Communications in a network configuration may be tailored to any desired architecture, including, but not limited to, Ethernet, RS-485, RADNET, GPRS/UMTS/3G/4G, satellite, etc..
air inlet is mounted at the top of the cabinet to ease access and to optimise path, for ambient air or stack/duct monitoring. In the RAM-31 and RAM-TF the movements of the circular filters or the tape filter are fully automatic, while in the RAM-01 the changing is provided by a very simple manual slide. In all models an air tight holder holds the filter in the sampling position, while allowing the upside alpha/beta detection.
sampling is accurately controlled to ensure constant air flow through the filter or to meet the isokynetic condition when needed. On line measurements with typically one hour cycles (however fully programmable from few minutes to hours) are continuously performed during sampling. Long lived concentrations, as well as exposures, are evaluated during cycles at a selectable refresh rate (usually 60 or 120 s) and at the end of each measuring interval.

Radon/Thoron concentrations as well as gamma background are also continuously provided as adding quantities.

filters are made of cellulose homogeneous polymer with a getting efficiency over 99% with the used flow-rate range. This type of filters has been selected as the best choice also for alpha aerosol monitoring. The filters are free of gamma emitters and have intrinsic radioactive emissions lower than the detection limits.
management software provides for the following main functions: Filter control (including pressure drop) and movement (RAM-31 and RAM-TF only), Flow-rate control and measurement, Lived spectrum acquisition, On-line Spectrum analysis and readout, Gamma background measurement and compensation, Evaluation of ‘artificial’ concentrations/exposures, Evaluation of Radon/Thoron concentrations, Evaluation of total activities on filter, Management of alert/alarm thresholds and trips, Detection/management of failures, Test, setting and calibration operations, On-line auto-test procedure, Analogue and digital outputs, Data storage and communication, Interfacing with adding/auxiliary (eventual) devices. The main available data for readout, storage and communication are: Filter identification, Air flow-rate and Sampled air volume, Pressure drop through the filter, Air temperature, Gamma background, Total alpha and beta activities on filter, ‘Artificial’ alpha concentration in air and exposure (error with selectable sigma), ‘Artificial’ beta concentration in air and exposure (error with selectable sigma), Radon and Thoron concentrations in air, Alpha/beta (and optionally gamma) spectrum. The measuring units are the ones defined by the International Standard, but can be optionally provided different under specific customer’s request. Complex monitoring station including isokynetic sampling, aerosol and iodine sections, gas section, gamma dose-rate section, weather section, etc. can be configured around the RAM units as the governing LPU may act as ‘station processor’.

RTS CAM / CCAM Family – Compact & Smart Aerosol Monitors

RTS CAM / CCAM family includes very compact and smart Radioactive Aerosol Monitoring Instruments dedicated to sample and measure the radioactive contamination in air, due to alpha and beta emitters, and to provide gamma dose-rate as adding information. To allow light weight and compactness, the relevant shielding and compensating functions are performed electronically by means of appropriate measuring procedures and algorithms.

The family is actually composed by: CAM-01 (wall mounting), CCAM-11 (two separate modules for wall, desk or cart mounting, remotizable measuring head), CCAM-TF (tape filter model), CCAM-12 (very compact model). CCAM-11STT, CCAM-12STT and CCAM-TFSTT are the widely used trolley units. DCAM-22 is the special alpha/beta & gamma dual unit.

CAM/CCAM units allow the continuous monitoring of the radioactive aerosols collected on a circular filter from air (a standard circular one 47 mm diameter for ‘01’, ‘11’ and ‘12’ units, tape-filter for the ‘TF’ units), using spectrometric techniques. They perform the on-line alpha and beta measurement from the filter using a proprietary algorithm that is a combination of ‘peak/tail fitting/simulation’ and of ‘region-of-interest’ (5-ROIs) methods to evaluate the presence of long lived alpha (as example: Pu-239) and beta emitters. The main results are the associated concentrations in air (in Bq/m3 or DAC). Aerosol monitoring is carried out using a solid state detector connected to a dedicated low-noise charge preamplifier (RTS PA-03C) and a monitoring processor (RTS MAB-03C) including an input amplifier/shaper, a fast MCA section for 1024 channels, some auxiliary circuitries. The spectra are acquired by the monitoring processor and related counts, after the application of the suitable fitting methods, are divided into a 5-ROIs histogram. The counts from these ROIs are then operated on using the final part of the algorithm to identify the contributing components of alpha and beta emitters, and determine whether they are artificial or naturally occurring (radon and thoron progenies).

The systems work automatically, fully controlled by the dedicated processors, and are specifically designed to meet the needs of continuous monitoring of radioactive alpha/beta particulate contaminants of the air in applications like plant workplace or ventilation monitoring as well as environmental surveillance networks.

Air sampling is accurately measured and controlled to ensure constant and precisely known air flow through the filter. The mechanisms for filter replacement is manual by a suitable slide or automatic for the tape model, very reliable and simple.

On-line measurements with programmable parameters and alert/alarm thresholds are continuously performed during sampling. Alpha and beta ‘artificial’ concentrations in air (Bq/m3 or DAC), as well as alpha and beta ‘artificial’ exposures in air (Bqh/m3 or DACh), are evaluated during cycles at each refresh and at the end of each measuring cycle. Alpha and beta total activities present on filter (Bq) are also evaluated as adding quantities as well as Radon and Thoron concentrations in air (Bq/m3).

Gamma background (dose-rate) is measured by means of a dedicated probe allowing to perform the real-time (dynamic) gamma background compensation on beta measurements

The following main functions are provided: Flow-rate, pressure drop through the filter and temperature measurement, Filter, flow and pressure drop management, Alpha/Beta spectrum acquisition and readout, Gamma background measurement/compensation, Algorithm processing and 5-ROI histogram readout, Evaluation of artificial concentrations and exposures in air, Evaluation of gross collected activities (and related variation), System parameters set-up, Management of alert/alarm thresholds and trips, Detection/management of failures, Test, calibration and simulation operation, Generation of outputs, Data storage (Data, Alarm Record and Log) and communication.