Pointcast Rollout, Part 1

Above: The Safecast team with the new Pointcast realtime radiation monitor in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture. While the bGeigie and mobile radiation monitoring have been the major focus of Safecast for some time, we have also steadily been building, testing, and deploying a fixed realtime radiation monitoring system which is the first to receive the designation“Pointcast.” There has been a different kind of learning curve associated with this, both in technical terms as well as in the nature of the human partnerships it requires. We indicated the sensors on our web-based map and made the realtime data accessible over a year ago, and as usual we’ve been learning in public. This isn’t a problem for us, it’s one of our most important principles. After deploying quite a few more fixed sensors in recent months and working out some of the bugs and visualization issues, we feel it’s time to call more attention to this system, its purpose, and the feelings and concerns of the people who have agreed to host Pointcast units. This post is the first of several describing the Pointcast system and our observations from an intense few days installing new sensors and conducting maintenance on several others in Fukushima during the recent Golden Week holiday. What’s it for? The reason for providing realtime radiation monitoring is simple: people want (and need) to know how radiation levels change over time in the places where they live and work. In most parts of the world this is necessary for basic environmental monitoring, as well as for satisfying the natural curiosity many people have. But in places like Fukushima that have suffered significant radioactive contamination and where there remains some risk of new deposition, it’s more important for people to be able to monitor changes closely. Safecast was established to be an independent … Continue reading Pointcast Rollout, Part 1