Software to Aid in the Standardization and Use of Instrument Detection Limits


P .R. Steinmeyer, R. Smola


The application of radiation counting statistics to hand-held radiation detection instruments is confusing to some, occasionally misused, and frequently inconsistent. IN working to aid customers with questions regarding detectability concepts, Ludlum Measurements, Inc. sponsored the development of a Windows 32-bit program ("RadCalc LE"). This software calculates critical level, detection limit, minimum detectable count rate, minimum detectable activity, and sample activity. Input and displayed results can be in any commonly used units; conversions are handled automatically. For ease of use, many relevant instrument and detector parameters, such as time constants and active area, are included within the program. The user selects the Ludlum instrument and detector being used and enters in background and isotope efficiency. Alternately, instrument-specific parameters can be manually entered. The program defaults to Brodsky/Multi Agency Radiological Site Survey and Assessment Manual (MARSSIM) minimum detectable activity (MDA) methodology, but the Currie/Strom methodology can also be used. The program is distributed without cost and is compatible with Windows 95, Windows 98, and 32-bit versions of Windows NT.


This abstract was presented at the 33rd Annual Midyear Meeting, "Instrumentation, Measurements, and Electronic Dosimetry", QA/QC Session, 1/30/2000 - 2/2/2000, held in Virginia Beach, VA.

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