This summer I returned back to Holland for a summer break. As I had not had a chance to Safecast Holland yet (all bGeigies where in heavy rotation here in Japan!), I decided to make a special version of the bGeigie, so I could easily carry it on board of an airplane, and measure radiation on the way to Holland. Also a small form factor would allow for easy mounting on a bicycle (I don’t own a car) and use it while walking. Lionel Bergeret adopted the bGeigie software to run flawlessly on the Nano. Ergo, the bGeigie Nano was born. The initial prototype was based on a black Pelican 1010 case, and for the trip it was rebuild it into a transparent, yellow case with better mounting of the LND 7313 pancake tube. Over the past three months, the bGeigie Nano has matured quite a bit from this initial prototype, but more about that “any time soon”!
So back to Holland! The first measurements were done on the way from Tokyo to Narita Airportand from Narita to Schiphol, Holland.
This was the first time to measure “the sky” with the bGeigie, though I had done manual measurements before last year on the way to Boston, US (Safecasting at 10000 meters). All went well, though at times it was difficult to get the GPS unit to lock, so it was necessary to keep the unit as close as possible to the window during the entire flight. As a result of this trial, a better GPS module from Adafruit has been selected for future bGeigies that better locks under difficult conditions. Nevertheless, I was able to measure most of the route! Radiation levels peaked over 4µSv/h for a good part of the trip. Basically the more north you fly, the more exposure you will get.
In Amsterdam I took the bGeigie Nano on boat tour along the beautiful canals. As you can see, on the water measurements came out low, but in the central town area radiation levels where a bit up due to granite and red bricks used in the many old buildings.
With many measurements well under 0.1µSv, all in all, radiation levels in Holland came out very low.
Photo’s: Guido van Nispen (B/W), Pieter Franken (color)