Space-Tech Camera Sees Radiation, Can Assess Danger Levels

radiation camera image© JAXA

Japanese researchers from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, in conjunction with Tokyo Electric Power Company and Japan Atomic Energy Agency, have come up with a new way of looking at radiation levels, literally, in places like Fukushima. A super-wide angle Compton Camera uses space technology the same as that used on the ASTRO-H satellite to display radiation.

According to a press release from Tokyo Electric Power Company, "It is expected to be able to create visual images of radioactive particles that have collected at high altitudes such as building roofs where it is difficult to conduct measurements with existing survey meters. Taking advantage of its wide vision (180-degree) capability as well as its ability to distinguish gamma rays from nuclides, it can create images of Cesium 137 (Cs-137) and Cesium 134 (Cs-134) that have widely dispersed on the ground and residential houses."

After conducting a field test, the results show that the camera gave an accurate reading, one that was done over a broader area and with more accuracy than current gamma cameras. This technology could become a useful way for teams to find out radiation levels in different environments, from highly dangerous sites like the Fukushima nuclear power plant to those adjacent to power plants or waste sites that are questionable, or even distant sites that might be affected by radiation carried by wind and water. Accurate technology like this can provide much better assessments as to what areas need clean-up attention, stat.

Space-Tech Camera Sees Radiation, Can Assess Danger Levels
What if we could not only detect radiation, but also see it as we are assessing an area? A new camera from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency does just this.

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