Technical Note: A feasibility study of using the flat panel detector on linac for the kV x-ray generator test

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PurposeTo investigate the feasibility of using kV flat panel detector on linac for consistency evaluations of kV x-ray generator performance.MethodsAn in-house designed aluminum (Al) array phantom with six 9 × 9 cm2 square regions having various thickness was proposed and used in this study. Through XML script-driven image acquisition, kV images with various acquisition settings were obtained using the kV flat panel detector. Utilizing pre-established baseline curves, the consistency of x-ray tube output characteristics, including tube voltage accuracy, exposure accuracy and exposure linearity was assessed through image quality assessment metrics including ROI mean intensity, ROI standard deviation (SD), and noise power spectrums (NPS). The robustness of this method was tested on two linacs for a 3-month period.ResultsWith the proposed method, tube voltage accuracy can be verified through conscience check with a 2% tolerance and 2 kVp intervals for forty different kVp settings. The exposure accuracy can be tested with a 4% consistency tolerance for three mAs settings over forty kVp settings. The exposure linearity tested with 3 mAs settings achieved a coefficient of variation (CV) of 0.1.ConclusionWe proposed a novel approach that uses the kV flat panel detector available on linac for x-ray generator test. This approach eliminates the inefficiencies and variability associated with using third-party QA detectors while enabling an automated process.

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