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A citizen's dosimeter, and it fits in your wallet
Date:7/1/2011

ing 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.


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Contact: John Verrico
john.verrico@dhs.gov
202-254-2385
US Department of Homeland Security - Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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