Photon skyshine from medical linear accelerators.
Journal of applied clinical medical physics [electronic resource] / American College of Medical Physics
A widely used formula for the prediction of photon skyshine has been shown to be very inaccurate by comparison with numerous measurements. Discrepancies of up to an order of magnitude have been observed. In addition to this, the formula does not predict the observed dependence on field size, nor the fact that skyshine dose rates exhibit a local maximum. A scaling formula is derived here, with a single fitting parameter, which properly accounts for these properties, provides physical insight into the skyshine phenomenon, and is more accurate. The location of the maximum dose rate depends on the ratio of the roof height above isocenter to the distance from the isocenter to the outer surface of the sidewall. For nominal linac room dimensions, the maximum dose occurs at a distance from the outer wall of approximately two times the height of the roof above the isocenter. The skyshine dose rate is proportional to the field area and not Ω1.3 , as predicted by the standard formula, where Ω is the solid angle subtended by the beam. For lightly shielded roofs (concrete thickness less than about 0.5 m), the photon skyshine for 6 MV exceeds that for 18 MV. Evidence is presented that at intermediate distances the skyshine declines as one over the distance and not one over the distance squared. Predictions of skyshine dose rates depend critically on accurate knowledge of the roof transmission factor. If a roof is shielded so as to avoid designation as a "high radiation area," photon skyshine will be negligible.
McDermott PN. Photon skyshine from medical linear accelerators. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2020 Mar;21(3):108-114. doi: 10.1002/acm2.12833. Epub 2020 Mar 1. PMID: 32115894; PMCID: PMC7075386.