Optical-Radiation-Calorimeter Refinement by Virtual-Sensitivity Analysis
Digital holographic interferometry (DHI) radiation dosimetry has been proposed as an experimental metrology technique for measuring absorbed radiation doses to water with high spatial resolution via noninvasive optical calorimetry. The process involves digitally recording consecutive interference patterns resulting from variations in the refractive index as a function of the radiation-absorbed dose. Experiments conducted on prototype optical systems revealed the approach to be feasible but strongly dependent on environmental-influence quantities and setup configuration. A virtual dosimeter reflecting the prototype was created in a commercial optical modelling package. A number of virtual phantoms were developed to characterize the performance of the dosimeter under ideal conditions and with simulated disruptions in environmental-influence quantities, such as atmospheric and temperature perturbations as well as mechanical vibrations. Investigations into the error response revealed that slow drifts in atmospheric parameters and heat expansion caused the measured dose to vary between measurements, while atmospheric fluctuations and vibration contributed to system noise, significantly lowering the spatial resolution of the detector system. The impact of these effects was found to be largely mitigated with equalisation of the dosimeter’s reference and object path lengths, and by miniaturising the detector. Equalising path lengths resulted in a reduction of 97.5% and 96.9% in dosimetric error introduced by heat expansion and atmospheric drift, respectively, while miniaturisation of the dosimeter was found to reduce its sensitivity to vibrations and atmospheric turbulence by up to 41.7% and 54.5%, respectively. This work represents a novel approach to optical-detector refinement in which metrics from medical imaging were adapted into software and applied to a a virtual-detector system. This methodology was found to be well-suited for the optimization of a digital holographic interferometer.