Mobile Phones With Radiation Sensors To Combat Nuclear Terrorism

27 January 2008 By Shashank

To save planet earth from evil terrorism and possible future radiological and nuclear attack , the researchers at Purdue Univ. in collaboration with State of Indiana are working on a system that would use cell phone network to detect and track radiation to help prevent nuclear terrorist attack.The network of cell phones, which already have global positioning locators, can serve as a tracking system when equipped with radiation sensors able to detect even light residues of radioactive material, said physics professor Ephraim Fischbach, who is working with Jere Jenkins, director of Purdue’s radiation laboratories within the School of Nuclear Engineering.


A intrumentation scientist  Andrew Longman developed a software for the system and is now working with Purde researchers to integrate the software with radiation detectors and mobile phones.

‘Big cities with concentrated population form soft targets for potential terrorist attacks and a system like this would pose difficulties for someone to go undetected with a radiological dirty bomb in such an area,” Longman, also a Purdue alumnus said. The more people are walking around with cell phones and Personal digital assistants (PDAs), the easier it would be to detect and catch the perpetrator, he said.

Tiny solid-state radiation sensors are already commercially available.

The detection system would require additional circuitry and would not add significant bulk to portable electronic products, Fischbach said adding that the software can work with a variety of sensor types.

The system was tested last November and is capable of detecting a weak radiation source 15 feet from the sensors, researchers said.

The sensors don’t really perform the detection task individually, Fischbach said adding that the collective action of the sensors, combined with the software analysis, detects the source.

The system then would tranfer the data to the data centers where the authorities can check and then alert the person carrying the cellphone.

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