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Smartphones May Be Our First Line of Defense Against Radiation


A radiation-detecting smartphone.

The CellRad app can detect gamma-ray photos using the charge-coupled device in cellphone cameras.

Credit: Government Computer News

Smartphones could be used to detect gamma radiation, and Joshua Cogliati and colleagues at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) have developed CellRad, an app that can detect gamma-ray photons using the charge-coupled device (CCD) in cellphone cameras.

Users just take a picture and do the analysis on their phone. Pixels in the phone's CCD can be excited by many different sources, including other spectra of light, heat, and current leakage from the phone itself.

Thus, the researchers note CellRad only works when the camera lens is covered, and an algorithm developed by the team at INL is needed to filter out the noise. They say the app could even be developed to detect the direction of the radiation source since many phones contain two cameras. More processing power would be needed, but this could be a near-term improvement.

First responders and military service members could use the application, which also could provide passive scanning at ports and borders.

From Government Computer News
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Abstracts Copyright © 2014 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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