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Particle telescope technology could help improve radiotherapy

4 Jun 2019, 13:00 UTC
Particle telescope technology could help improve radiotherapy
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Christophe Royon (second from left) and his research team at his lab in the University of Kansas.
A research team at the University of Kansas (KU) is developing a particle telescope to analyse charged particles emitted by the sun. The technology could also be used to measure doses delivered to patients during radiation therapy. So, what will be the key purpose of the telescope? And what work is underway to deepen understanding of its current and potential clinical applications?
Cosmic rays
The main purpose of the Advanced Energetic Ion Electron Telescope (also known as AGILE) is to identify particles in cosmic rays and to measure their energies. As KU project leader Christophe Royon explains, this twin function is particularly useful because it is currently “very difficult to do both with a small solid-state detector”.
“This new telescope will be a breakthrough for NASA,” he says. “The idea is to use several layers of silicon sensors and to digitize the signal produced by the sensors following the passage of a particle. This signal is then analysed to identify the particle type — electron, proton, oxygen, nitrogen and so on — and to measure its energy.”
Following the recent award of a ...

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