Dr. Mari Maeda
Program Manager, Information Innovation Office (I2O)
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
In the wake of the Fukushima meltdowns following the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, there is a recognized need for comprehensive information on current radiation levels. Many apps and web sites already exist to distribute such information. However, real-time data collection efforts are lagging. Fortunately, new efforts and technologies are in development to gather these radiation measurements in order to feed those websites and databases with ever-fresh data.
This session will examine the techniques that are in use for both parts of the problem, with a particular focus on the unique ability of the private sector to supplement government efforts and to provide key decision-makers with timely, actionable information. In particular, we will look at the use of smartphones as radioactivity detectors, using both their intrinsic capability, and via a USB add on. Then we will look at the methods being used, often at the grass-roots level, to collect, disseminate, and make use of the readings.
Finally, the lessons will be applied to future needs and examine their use in scenarios where radioactivity is released both accidentally and deliberately. A key take-away will be methods that governmental agencies can employ to reduce panic during and after a radiation emergency.
1. Advantages and limitations of grass-roots, crowd-sourced data collection and methods to take advantage of this source of data.
2. Methods to reduce public panic concerning elevated radioactivity levels.
3. Applications to protecting the public from radiological threats.