Network enabled 24/7 Radiation Monitor / Dosimeter with Geiger tube, in rugged rainproof aluminium enclosure. It runs on little power.Designed by MagnaSCI in Romania
Special Note: In 1986, the Chernobyl disaster shook the world. Although the major danger has been contained, Chernobyl has led to a total of more than 40,000 cases of cancer in Europe. It indirectly …Read More…
In 1986, the Chernobyl disaster shook the world. Although the major danger has been contained, Chernobyl has led to a total of more than 40,000 cases of cancer in Europe. It indirectly resulted from the inability and poor organization of a corrupt state, built on autocratic principles in which fear and not competence were at the forefront. Once again, the madness of a tyrant puts us all in front of a new nuclear risk through barbaric attacks on the population and infrastructure of the neighboring, sovereign state of Ukraine. For now, radiation levels around the Zaporojie nuclear plant are normal and the situation is under control. Once again we are pushing things to the limit: this useless and illegitimate war must be stopped. If we are not able to learn from the mistakes of the past, we have no chance of surviving as a species.
Hackaday Prize Semifinalist in 2014, the uRADMonitor Model A is a digital radiation dosimeter unit with a network interface to centralise the data online. It uses a Geiger Muller tube to sense the ionising radiation, and uses very little power to run. It comes in a rugged aluminium enclosure and can be installed outdoors, if mounted in vertical position, thanks to a rubber gasket that makes it rainproof.
This was the very first design that contributed to the creation of the uRADMonitor global network of sensors, now in more than 60 countries. This first design was soo good, that the first units are still running today, after more than 8 years! The Geiger tube chosen has a long life of more than 1900 years so you can use this device practically forever. More on how this came to be, can still be read on my blog post from 2012. A very strong encouragement came from Mike Szczys of Hackday, who featured this project in one of his articles:
Following the creation of this first prototype, the challenge was to change this to a more rugged form, that can also be put into production. That is what I did next and now we have it: a compact, high quality networked Radiation Monitor.
The uRADMonitor is a digital radiation dosimeter, enclosed in a rugged aluminium case. Designed to function as nodes, in a distributed network of radiation monitors,the uRADMonitor units are working together to achieve environmental radiation surveillance on a global scale.
Connectivity is a key element of the uRADMonitor design. All units are reporting the readings to a centralized server, where anyone interested can evaluate radiation levels all across the globe.
The devices can be employed in local, personal use, when one needs to constantly monitor a particular location. But the true advantage of this technology comes on a larger scale, where multiple units are working together, to help us understand variations in radiation levels, as affected by weather factors (like wind or rain) or geographic location. This is how the value and interest in this technology moves from personal use, to corporate, scientific or community applications.
By interconnecting a large number of radiation monitors, we are permanently informed on abnormal variations, helping us to protect our health and interests. The units are low power, needing practically no maintaince work and the setup is easy with only a cable to connect to the power supply and an Ethernet cable to connect the uRADMonitor to the Internet router.
Because the network is using the same type of detectors, manually tested and checked against a common reference, all numbers and charts are comparable from one location to another, making it easy to understand changes and differences.
Taking advantage of a clean, innovative design, the path from prototyping to production was shortened considerably. We've improved the power consumption, the size of electronics and the number of components involved. The internal high voltage circuits are functioning side by side with the digital signal paths, showing excellent stability. Our tests went as far as months of continuous runs for observing all system parameters. Now we are proud of the result. With under 1Watt consumption, the uRADMonitor units can run on almost any power source, including green, regenerable sources like solar or wind.
Designed as distributed measuring units, with the entire infrastructure already implemented, the current design can be extended for other uses, for example adding air sensors for monitoring its quality. Or U.V. sensors for the sun activity, rain and wind sensors to complement the radiation data.
There is already a large volume of data flowing trough the uRADMonitor network every minute. We've centralized all data and made it available on the webportal. Everyone can understand the readings, even those without a technical background. The radiation data is shown in charts, where normal behaviour implies a constant level with minor fluctiations. In case of nuclear incidents or any other unwanted events, the raising trend will be a clear indication that something is changing. This trully goes beyond numbers and radiation physics: the simplified way of showing the data, combined with the uniformity of the network is yet another important innovative feature introduced by the uRADMonitor design. This is probably the first network of this kind, that has reached this level of uniformity on a global scale.
I designed the uRADMonitor so it can be produced at reduced costs, allowing the network to grow rapidly. As a result, the uRADMonitor units have been easily put into production, with the first Model A available for immediate deployment. The next variants are on the design board, as this is only the beginning of more exciting and innovative technologies that will follow.
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