Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The app for frequent fliers and those who are radiation-conscious

15.04.2015

PTB awards licence for the calculation of radiation levels to start-up company

Frequent fliers are now able to monitor their personal radiation exposure when flying using the TrackYourDose app. Behind the app lies intensive research work undertaken by the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB).


Screenshot of the TrackYourDose app

Since 1997 PTB has studied the cosmic radiation at typical flight altitudes and, based on this, it has developed mathematical models for calculating radiation levels.

By licensing these mathematical models to the start-up company esooka, the wider public can now monitor their own radiation exposure during flights. For frequent fliers and others who are interested in doing this, an app has been on sale at the Apple Store since the end of 2014.

To study the worldwide distribution of radiation exposure through cosmic radiation, PTB's scientists developed a carry-on "flight case". This can measure all the relevant types of radiation, in particular neutron radiation which is produced in the atmosphere, with regard to their biological effectiveness.

The measurement value is called the "ambient dose equivalent" and is measured in microsieverts (µSv). A ten-hour flight across the North Atlantic, for instance, results in a radiation exposure of 50 µSv to 100 µSv. We can compare this to having an X-ray at the dentist's which may lead to between 2 µSv and 6 µSv, depending on the type of X-ray. In 2012, the total annual radiation exposure of a typical person in Germany through naturally occurring radiation came to about 2100 µSv (=2.1 mSv).

Using the flight case, PTB's scientists measured more than 2500 measurement points showing the "ambient dose equivalent rate", given in microsievert per hour (µSv/h), at flight altitudes between 8 km and 12 km worldwide between 1997 and 2006.

Suitable mathematical models and adjustment procedures allowed all the measurement values to be described with a simple mathematical function according to their geographical location, the flight altitude and solar activity. This procedure was put forward to the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) to define reference values of the ambient dose equivalent rates based on about 20,000 measurements.

Transferring the mathematical model developed by PTB to the esooka company has given the wider public access to radiation monitoring for individuals. This means that PTB is complying with two of its legal tasks at the same time: research on radiation protection and promoting German companies through technology transfers.

Using the TrackYourDose app, you enter the details of the airports you are flying from and to and the date you are travelling. Then the current solar activity for your flight is provided by the esooka server. This can mean large differences in the individual level of radiation exposure, especially for polar routes. esooka gets the data on solar activity from the neutron monitor of the University of Oulu in Finland.

But TrackYourDose can do more than that. Apart from cosmic radiation from air travel, everyone is exposed to natural radiation, gamma radiation and cosmic radiation on the ground (this is highly dependent on where you live).

In addition, medical examinations with ionizing radiation such as X-rays or CT scans lead to radiation exposure. By entering the radiological examinations you have had and the place where you live, additional exposures can be taken into account by the new app. This means that all your significant radiation exposures are covered by TrackYourDose.

Scientific publication on this subject:
F. Wissmann , M. Reginatto and T. Möller: The ambient dose equivalent at flight altitudes: a fit to a large set of data using a Bayesian approach. J. Radiol. Prot. 30 (2010) 513–524 doi:10.1088/0952-4746/30/3/006

Link to TrackYourDose app:
https://itunes.apple.com/de/app/trackyourdose/id909216331?mt=8

Further information is available from:
• Link to the company esooka http://www.esooka.de/
• Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz (Federal Office for Radiation Protection): Umweltradioaktivität und Strahlenbelastung im Jahr 2012: Unterrichtung der Bundesregierung (Environmental radioactivity and radiation exposure in the year 2012: Report to the Federal Government).
http://doris.bfs.de/jspui/handle/urn:nbn:de:0221-2014040311384

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.ptb.de/en/aktuelles/archiv/presseinfos/pi2015/pitext/pi150414.html,

Imke Frischmuth | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Equipping form with function
23.06.2017 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity
23.06.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>