The Department of Homeland Security(DHS)'s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has developed a miniaturized version of a dosimeter, a portable device used for measuring exposure to ionizing radiation, which can provide life-saving early detection in the unlikely event of a nuclear accident or dirty bomb.
Dubbed the Citizen's Dosimeter, this high-tech plastic card would be as convenient and affordable as a subway card, with the capability to measure the amount of radiation on a person or in a given area.
The National Urban Security Technologies Laboratory (or NUSTL, pronounced new STEEL) located in New York City and managed by DHS S&T, has been awarded a patent that covers the development of radiation dosimetry technologies – DHS's first patent.
Currently, personal radiation dosimeter badges are worn in nuclear plants, but a plant dosimeter cannot be read on the spot; it must be sent to a processing lab to determine an individual's radiation dose. While a final prototype has not yet been built, a workable blueprint for a wallet-sized card that can detect radiation in real time is now in place.
"We were inspired by the Metro cards we use every day to get around Manhattan, and envisioned a dosimeter with that level of convenience," says Gladys Klemic, a NUSTL physicist who managed the project from Illinois. Klemic believes a dosimeter in this form could benefit both emergency responders and the general public.
Klemic and her team at NUSTL set out to create a dosimeter that would meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) requirements for personal radiation dosimeter badges, and incorporate commercially available components to decrease the size and lower the price tag.
NUSTL began by using radiation-sensitive material from Landauer, Inc., a commercial dosimetry provider in Illinois, testing materials of varying thicknesses and combinations to determine how thin they could make the card while still achieving the targeted performance.
After testing nearly a half a dozen materials, the NUSTL scientists determined that using the chemical element tantalum allowed them to obtain accurate readings with minimal thickness. Combining this element in a unique double-layer, stainless steel filter helped to reduce false positives. It was this unique design that led to the patent award.
The next step is to develop a card reader to reveal the radiation dose measured by the Citizen's Dosimeter. In the event of a nuclear incident, first responders equipped with a card reader would immediately be able to measure radiation exposure for anyone carrying the Citizen's Dosimeter. While it will be years before a card and reader can be prototyped, tested, certified and wallet-ready, NUSTL has lined up a team to support the effort, including:
* Engineers at StorCard, a California-based group that has previously developed a prototype credit-card floppy disk and reader
* Nomadics, an Oklahoma engineering firm
* Radiation detection experts at Landauer and Oklahoma State University
The Citizen's Dosimeter represents a technological breakthrough and the next generation in radiation detection. It also demonstrates how public-private partnerships can work to produce life-saving solutions – in this case, protecting the nation from radiation resulting from an act of terrorism or natural disaster.
John Verrico | Newswise Science News
Fingerprints of quantum entanglement
16.02.2018 | University of Vienna
Simple in the Cloud: The digitalization of brownfield systems made easy
07.02.2018 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).
Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
16.02.2018 | Information Technology
16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy