Citizen’s Radiation Reader (updated)
March 28, 2012
From our friends at the Department of Homeland Security – who in July of last year were awarded their very first patent:
No matter how many plastic cards currently crowd your wallet, one day you may wish to make room for one more. 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. …
These aren’t mini-Geiger counters – they’re like the badges worn by employees at nuke plants, which are used to measure if you’ve been exposed to ionizing radiation.
Here’s a more reader friendly story about it:
“The purpose of personal dosimetry is to avoid potential long-term health effects from radiation exposure,” DHS physicist Gladys Klemic told Homeland1.
Klemic said the patented device has a unique combination of features, including a wide sensitivity range (10 mrad — 1,000 rad), the ability to store cumulative dose information, a re-usable field readout capability in a familiar credit card format and low cost.
Most current large-scale radiation worker dosimetry programs require users to return their dosimeters to a laboratory for processing. “This new DHS device would allow users to periodically check their own dose in strategically positioned card readers,” Klemic said.
And the only image we could find of the pre-prototype Citizen Dosimeter:
And for you gearheads: the official paperwork of United States Patent #7,420,187.
Update: In the news right now.
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