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To measure the acoustic signal generated by a pulsed proton spill from a hospital-based clinical cyclotron.

An electronic function generator modulated the IBA C230 isochronous cyclotron to create a pulsed proton beam. The acoustic emissionsgenerated by the proton beam were measured in water using a hydrophone. The acoustic measurements were repeated with increasing proton current and increasing distance between detector and beam.

The cyclotron generatedproton spills with rise times of 18 s and a maximum measured instantaneous proton current of 790 nA. Acoustic emissionsgenerated by the proton energy deposition were measured to be on the order of mPa. The origin of the acoustic wave was identified as the proton beam based on the correlation between acoustic emission arrival time and distance between the hydrophone and proton beam. The acoustic frequency spectrum peaked at 10 kHz, and the acoustic pressure amplitude increased monotonically with increasing proton current.

The authors report the first observation of acoustic emissionsgenerated by a proton beam from a hospital-based clinical cyclotron. When modulated by an electronic function generator, the cyclotron is capable of creating proton spills with fast rise times (18 s) and high instantaneous currents (790 nA). Measurements of the proton-generated acoustic emissions in a clinical setting may provide a method for proton range verification and patient monitoring.


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