Project: Remote and real-time optical detection of alpha-emitting radionuclides in the environment

Acronym 19ENV02 RemoteALPHA (Reference Number: 19ENV02)
Duration 01/09/2020 - 01/09/2023
Project Topic Of all nuclear decay products that may foreseeably be released into the environment, alpha particles present the highest overall risk to life. However, no detection system is in place capable of quantifying wide-scale contamination that could lead to emission of this type of radiation. For incidents such as terrorist attacks or transportation accidents, the best emergency response currently is evacuation. Also, area monitoring using handheld devices is inaccurate, slow, and places emergency service personnel at risk. The project will develop optical systems capable of remotely detecting and quantifying wide-scale contamination by alpha particles. Novel methods based on air radio-luminescence will be developed, including prototype mobile systems able to map alpha radiation levels in real-time. Aerial monitoring systems using drones will be developed and evaluated, and the feasibility of a laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopic method studied. Engagement with relevant standards-making, radiation protection and industry bodies will follow. The measurement infrastructure developed in the project will, thereafter, help surveillance systems to provide rapid, coordinated and effective responses to emergencies involving dispersion of alpha-emitting radionuclides in the environment. Emergency teams may then be more precisely guided to people affected, while the scale of evacuations can be aligned more closely to risks of harm.
Website visit project website
Network EMPIR
Call EMPIR Call 2019

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt Coordinator Germany
2 Budapest Főváros Kormányhivatala Partner Hungary
3 Institutul National de Cercetare-Dezvoltare pentru Fizica si Inginerie Nucleara "Horia Hulubei" Partner Romania
4 Alfa Rift Oy Partner Finland
5 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover Partner Germany
6 Tampereen korkeakoulusäätiö sr Partner Finland
7 Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya Partner Spain
8 Szent István University Observer Hungary