Beam energy metrics for the acceptance and quality assurance of Halcyon linear accelerator

Song Gao, Mikhail A. Chetvertkov, Bin Cai, Abhishek Dwivedi, Dimitris Mihailidis, Xenia Ray, Tucker Netherton, Laurence E. Court, William E. Simon, Peter A. Balter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Establish and compare two metrics for monitoring beam energy changes in the Halcyon platform and evaluate the accuracy of these metrics across multiple Halcyon linacs. Method: The first energy metric is derived from the diagonal normalized flatness (FDN), which is defined as the ratio of the average measurements at a fixed off-axis equal distance along the open profiles in two diagonals to the measurement at the central axis with an ionization chamber array (ICA). The second energy metric comes from the area ratio (AR) of the quad wedge (QW) profiles measured with the QW on the top of the ICA. Beam energy is changed by adjusting the magnetron current in a non-clinical Halcyon. With D10cm measured in water at each beam energy, the relationships between FDN or AR energy metrics to D10cm in water is established with linear regression across six energy settings. The coefficients from these regressions allow D10cm(FDN) calculation from FDN using open profiles and D10cm(QW) calculation from AR using QW profiles. Results: Five Halcyon linacs from five institutions were used to evaluate the accuracy of the D10cm(FDN) and the D10cm(QW) energy metrics by comparing to the D10cm values computed from the treatment planning system (TPS) and D10cm measured in water. For the five linacs, the D10cm(FDN) reported by the ICA based on FDN from open profiles agreed with that calculated by TPS within –0.29 ± 0.23% and 0.61% maximum discrepancy; the D10cm(QW) reported by the QW profiles agreed with that calculated by TPS within –0.82 ± 1.27% and –2.43% maximum discrepancy. Conclusion: The FDN-based energy metric D10cm(FDN) can be used for acceptance testing of beam energy, and also for the verification of energy in periodic quality assurance (QA) processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-127
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied clinical medical physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Halcyon linear accelerator
  • acceptance and QA
  • ionization chamber array
  • monitoring energy


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