Radiation, Air Quality, Weather Monitoring
and Pollutant Source Regions

Description of the Radiation Monitoring System

The RM-60 Micro-Roentgen radiation monitor by Aware Electronics (no longer available) has been set up (~2004) to provide real-time background radiation levels. The RM-60 is located on the south side of the building in a window frame, inside of the screen, but exposed to the outside air. Indoor background levels are normal and therefore only gamma (and perhaps beta) radiation is expected to be detected from outside sources. The RM-60 unit is monitored through the serial port using a LINUX program developed by Rickard E. Faith, which saves the count every two minutes and averages it over 15 minute intervals. Through 18 UTC 27 October 2019 monitoring was through the /dev/ttyS0 port and was then switched to /dev/ttyUSB0. The current counts through the USB port are twice as large as the previous ones through the COM serial port. The cause for the difference has not been determined. Display units are micro-R per hour. The long-term radiation data archive can be accessed by entering the end time of the desired six hour segment. Although data collection started 19 February 2007, online access is only available from 1 January 2020.

Dose (µREM/h)
Dose (µREM/h)
23/10/03 23:3232.432.4
23/10/03 23:3445.739.0
23/10/03 23:3621.933.3
23/10/03 23:3826.731.7
23/10/03 23:4025.730.5
23/10/03 23:4229.529.9
23/10/03 23:4434.327.6

To put the RM-60 readings in perspective some units conversion is in order:
1 Sv (Sievert) = 100 R = 0.05 cancer risk (according to ICRP)
1 µSv (micro Sv) = 100 µR (display units)
1 Sv = 1x10+8 µR
2x10-5 Sv = 1x10-6 cancer risk (one in a million)
2000 µR = 1x10-6 cancer risk
100000 µR = maximum range of RM-60