SMARTGUARD Environmental Radiation Monitoring System

The SmartGuard environmental radiation monitoring system allows a PET-Cyclotron facility to implement a controlled monitoring environment, including comprehensive means of handling and documenting (exceeded) alarm levels and logging of measuring data.

SMARTGUARD - Environmental Radiation Monitoring System


  • Modular and flexible system
  • Real-time control
  • Export event history
  • Virtual maps
  • Event notification via mail
  • Up to 128 Detection Units
  • cGMP complia

The modular and flexible monitoring system permits operators to have a real-time and continuous control of the whole facility by means of a clear and immediate visualisation of all potentially dangerous events.

The system is flexible in the sense that it can be configured to meet the specific needs of a site, where these needs can be of a regulatory, production monitoring and/or radiation safety related nature.
The system is modular in the sense that there is a choice of modules available, which modules can be used to build small scale decentralised systems up to centralised, department wide, monitoring systems.
Special attention has been paid to GMP requirements with respect to cleanable surfaces and out-of-sight cabling. Most of the cabling only requires a standard Power over Ethernet infrastructure, which can be installed by the customer during construction.

Architecture of SmartGuard Monitoring System

SMARTGUARD Architeture

The heart of a SmartGuard monitoring system is the (VMS-CS) Control Station, a PC running the VMS software. A number of Detection Units are connected to this PC, using Power over Ethernet (PoE) with standard LAN cabling. For different tasks, different Detection Units are available.


A Detection Unit consists of a radiation detector and a controller/display unit. The detector type varies with the task at hand.
Detection Units for the following tasks are available:

  • Production monitoring (hot cell)
  • Area monitoring (lab)
  • Air monitoring (stack/duct/hot cell)
  • Neutron monitoring (vault)

Up to 128 Detection Units can be handled by the Controller Station. As SmartGuard is a fully client/server-based system, remote display’s (VMS-RD) can be set up in any room of the facility (for example, Radiochemistry Lab, Quality Control, etc…), to visualise the system status.
Production monitoring in the hot cell and area monitoring in the lab is covered by the VRM-303 radiation monitor fitted with a VRM-GP Geiger-Müller detector. Measuring data is available locally as well as at the central Control Station.
For air monitoring two Detection Units are available.

The first system (VRM-SM) is meant for measuring activity (concentration) in stacks and ventilation ducts.
The second system (VRM-AM) is meant to measure the activity (concentration) inside of hot cells or rooms. Air from inside of the hot cells (or rooms) is sampled, standard VRM-AM supports up to four rooms. An option is available to increase this with five rooms to a total of nine rooms.

In all facilities subject to GMP regulations, installation is very important. The presence of visible cables, holes where dust can deposit, irregular surfaces, can impede good cleaning procedures.
Thanks to the use of:

  • Hidden cables (also in case of remote detectors)
  • Low profile connectors in the back panel of read-out units
  • Integrated detector
  • Roughed-in cables for the installation
  • it is now possible to install detectors (wall mounted) without visible cables.

Also remote displays (VMS-RD) are installed without visible cables and can be easily cleaned.

Smartguard Remote-PC

System access

Access to the monitoring system is guarded by user passwords.
Three user levels are implemented

  • Technologist: Carries out (routine) laboratory proceedings
  • Radiation expert: Responsible for radiological configuration
  • Service engineer: Responsible for technical installation and configuration

Virtual maps

The application shows a virtual map of all the areas of a facility. The virtual map allows a quick localisation of all the areas which are being monitored, showing the status and radiation level of the detectors in the individual areas. This allows immediate intervention when alarms are triggered. Radiation level and status are displayed in real-time.

During installation the software is tailored to the customer’s specific configuration, where the site map is supplied by the customer.
The VMS software supports the JPEG and the Portable Network Graphics (PNG) format to load the map.

Event notification

Any anomalous event is visualised on the computer monitor of the VMS-CS and of the VMS-RDs (if present). The clear graphical layout, together with local alarm signals, allows the operator to take appropriate measures in case of such an event.

History of dimensions/events

Dimensions and events are stored on the VMS-CS and can be presented and exported either as a graph (chart view) or a table (grid view).
In ‘chart view’ selecting a point shows the details of the measurement as a popup.
The events in the database (Firebird/InterBase based) are sorted on date/time.

Supply conditions

Some units will be powered locally. Customer must assure the line power and ground level consistency throughout the site. Most units are powered by Power over Ethernet, and we suggest that the customer is responsible for the implementation of this LAN infrastructure according to the layout supplied by Comecer.

Of course Comecer can be of service in this process, if required.

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