The Atomic Energy Council (AEC) yesterday announced the development of a compact device that would make it easier to detect radiation using 3G cellphones as a positioning device.
“Radiation is all around us. Aside from naturally occurring radiation, such as radium, thorium and uranium, there are numerous manmade radiation sources such as X-rays and medical cobalt 60,” said Tseng Hsun-hua (曾訓華), a researcher at the AEC’s Institute of Nuclear Energy Research (INER).
INER has been working for the past three years with the AEC’s Radiation Monitoring Station and National Tsing Hua University to design a device that local governments or communities can use to check the safety of their environments, Tseng said.
“The FNS-99 is the first comprehensive radiation detection device that is aided by cellphones,” Tseng said, adding that the equipment would be available for sale in six months at the earliest and would cost less than NT$150,000.
The FNS-99 measures 26cm x 20cm x 9cm, weighs less than 1.5kg and can be linked to cellphones equipped with Bluetooth and WiFi/GPRS/3G functions, Tseng said.
“The radiation spectrum analyzing core of the machine is an INER-patented 160MHz high-speed impulse analysis chip,” he said, adding that when fully charged, it can run for eight hours.
The prototype has been tested to work on a DOPOD 700 cellphone model, Tseng said, “because the DOPOD 700 was the most advanced domestically produced cellphone when we started the project three years ago.”
However, the system can be modified to work with any advanced cellphone, Tseng said.
Equipped with a high-density memory card, the FNS-99 can store thousands of real-time spectrums, analyses and geographical locations, Tseng said.