The apparent source position in ion therapy is not constant or can be different in x or y direction. The apparent source position (as measured from field size projections) shall be called Virtual Source, the distance from the virtual source to isocenter the Virtual SAD.
Most of the cases, no trays are used for blocks, compensators and wedges. However, the concept of trays together with the mounting position is useful for specifying exactly at which point the position of these devices shall be measured. Therefore, trays shall always be sent, even though they are only virtual trays.
Figure C.8.8.25-1 shows an example.
Figure C.8.8.25-1 Virtual Source-Axis Distances
Examples: The use of the above attributes for snout positioning and block/compensator manufacturing:
a.) Snout positioning:
The mounting positions as depicted in the drawing are only examples. As the block tray does not really exist in most of the cases, it is only used as a reference position. As some machines use the downstream face of the block as a reference position for their snout positioning, it could make sense to define for example that the block mounting position must be SOURCE_SIDE. In this case, one uses the downstream face of the block as the reference position, which is the same side as used by the machine. This definition is always independent of the actual thickness of the block. The Isocenter-Block Distance is defined and the machine can deduce the position of the snout from this value.
b.) Scaling of block/compensator data for manufacturing
The Isocenter position is always used as the reference position for all distances measured ‘from isocenter’. Real size block and compensator manufacturing should be based on the distance from the Virtual Source (X/Y) to the device, i.e. VirtualSourceToDeviceDistance = VirtualSAD - IsocenterToDeviceDistance.