When planning a radiation hazard training scenario, instructors have traditionally opted for real sources in order to enable students practice with the instruments they will actually use. While this is certainly effective for training, it does pose significant disadvantages. Cost, regulatory requirements, procurement, end of life disposal , and time constraints will all need to be considered when organising training utilising real sources.
Additionally, students will not be able to experience the levels of radiation that will drive decision making to ensure personal safety, as this would clearly pose a risk to their health (not to mention associated regulation infringements).
This is why simulator training is becoming more prevalent. Simulated point sources and open sources allow instructors to safely set preferred radiation levels which will trigger training devices and subsequently students to react.
The question then becomes one of realism: is the student’s training device and the manner in which it responds to the simulation source close enough to the actual instrument in terms of look, feel, and operation?
Ideally, these training devices will be as close as possible to the real thing. This has been one of Argon’s biggest strengths: taking real instruments and adapting them or implementing replica external probes to respond to open source and point source simulators.
Here, we present a selection of seven of Argon’s top radiation hazards simulators:
1. RDS100-SIM / PDR-77 / CDV 718 Radiation Safety Training Simulation Probes
This training kit comes as a set of three simulation probes, Alpha, Beta and Beta Gamma (probes also available independently). It provides users with a training system which has the operational features of real Mirion (formerly Canberra) probes.
RDS100-SIM / PDR-77 / CDV 718 Radiation Safety Training Simulation Probes respond to safe electromagnetic and magnetic simulated sources of alpha, beta, and gamma radiation. It can be used anywhere and at any time, without needing to address the regulatory, environmental, and health and safety concerns that come with real sources.
Additionally, the Beta Gamma probe is compatible with the Argon PlumeSIM system, enabling wide area tactical field and nuclear emergency response exercises.
2. RadEye GF10-SIM
Argon’s wealth of simulation experience, alongside its relationship with ThermoFisher, has helped produce a RadEye series of training simulators with a look, feel, and response which is extremely close to that of the actual detectors.
The RadEye series features the same user interface components as the real detectors, including display, indicators, switch panel, sounder, and vibrator
The system works with Radsim electromagnetic sources that safely simulate ionising radiation. This eliminates the need for regulatory, environmental, and health and safety planning, which allows for Real Experience Training anywhere, and at any time.
Our relationship with Sensor Technology Engineering, combined with our own extensive simulation experience, has helped us to create an HRM simulator which has the same look, feel, and functionality of its real counterpart.
It does this by replicating the gamma ray and thermo neutron radiation detection for use in the interdiction and localisation of nuclear materials.
One special note about all of our gamma ray simulators is that they are now based upon Argon’s revolutionary new electromagnetic simulation technology. This was developed and refined with the support of a number of US and UK government agencies. Most of these organisations have had experience using alternative simulation technology, which means they know the shortcomings that they want to see a new simulation technology overcome.
One of these agencies was so keen to help us optimise the technology that they carried out a number of tests during our development phase. These tests compared the performance of the simulation source with live Co60 and Cs137 sources. They ultimately confirmed we had created a solution that fully met their radiological source training requirements.
Argon has forged a strong relationship with Mirion, which has brought about a number of revolutionary simulator technologies, but we want to put a special focus on the UDR -13-SIM. This, alongside the UDR-14-SIM, responds to Radsim electromagnetic sources that safely simulate ionising radiation.
As with all of Argon’s offerings that are based upon actual detectors, the UDR-13-SIM is an accurate reproduction of the real thing. Its user interface components, such as display, indicators, switch panel, sounder, and vibrator are all exactly the same as the real detector.
Argon is planning to create a full range of UDR and Ultraradiac training simulators. Please contact us for your specific requirements.
Another product of the relationship between Argon and Mirion, the AccuRad-SIM features response speed and characteristics which, when approaching and withdrawing from the simulation source, are just like the real AccuRad. This enables highly realistic source search-and-find training.
The AccuRad-SIM is sensitive enough to detect the Radsim GS4 simulation Gamma source at a free space distance of 60 metres (200 feet) distance line of sight. It also simulates both the trend and radar modes, which gives the user accurate directionality information, just like the real detector.
Thanks to powerful proprietary signal processing, as with all Argon simulators these readings are repeatable each time students revisit the same location. Even the effect of body shielding to determine source position is realistically simulated, allowing students to learn how to use and interpret their detector readings and alarms effectively.
6. Radsim DS3 Mini 900 Simulator
The Radsim DS3 is a training simulator for the Thermo / Mini Instruments Mini Monitor 900 EP15 contamination monitor. It enables you to teach the detection of Alpha and Beta particles using safe, environmentally friendly training simulants.
It’s perfect for radiological and CBRN exercises because it responds to safe, inexpensive simulated radioactive liquids and powders. It also simulates contamination threshold alarms for students to practice response when particles reach unsafe levels.
The FH 40 G-SIM survey metre simulator enables students to experience every operational feature of the real Thermo FH 40 G, without needing to utilise an ionising radiation source.
It permits radiological incident instructors to safely teach critical search, reconnaissance, survey, and location skills. The FH40G-SIM is also a useful tool for getting a practical understanding of inverse square law, shielding, and safe demarcation.
The FH40G-SIM does this by responding to an encoded signal representing specific gamma emitting radionuclide from deployed electromagnetic simulation sources at a range of up to 50m line of sight.
On the surface, utilising radiation hazards simulators in training may not seem as effective as the real thing. However, advances in technology, coupled with the ability to ensure Real Experience Training wherever and whenever needed with realistic radiation source measurements, means that simulators might be a good fit for many situations.
Argon’s simulators are constantly evolving and we are always creating new ranges of learning technology which can help responders achieve Real Experience Training. To get an online demonstration of some of our featured products, click here.