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Home Radio and Electronics Radiation Monitoring
Radiation Monitoring

uRADMonitor

I have one of these uRad Monitors to monitor the background radiation levels in the area. Just something that I'm interested in. I am a radiation officer at Rio Tinto so sort of work related.......

The following is direct from the uRadMonitor website. http://www.uradmonitor.com/

The micro radiation monitor project.

uRADMonitor is a global array of network connected monitoring stations, focused on continuous Environmental Gamma Radiation Surveillance.

Many people are familiar with Geiger Counters, radiation and the basics on nuclear physics, but for some, the uRADMonitor remains a tiny black box – intriguing, but totally unknown.
urad1
 The uRADMonitor is a completely assembled and functional radiation dosimeter unit. In the current models, the radiation detector is a Geiger Muller tube. The electronics provided are self-sufficient: there is a fast microcontroller, a precision regulated high voltage supply, a digital counter and a network interface (Ethernet). The detector works by itself, while consuming very little power, measurements show a consumption like 0.160A @5V, that is only 0.8Watts of power! It could almost run on a single AA cell for hours, or it could easily be powered by a solar power source.

It was designed to be as plug-and-play-able as possible. It just needs a 5V DC power supply (usb/phone charger like) and a network cable to a router (it gets the IP via DHCP automatically), and that’s it: it starts transmitting data to the web portal. On the map, the location of each unit is estimated automatically. This positioning system can also be overridden in configuration, in case the user wants to show a point on map closer or farther from the real geographic position.

The detector is embedded in a rugged aluminium case with a very compact size.
 urad2

uRADMonitor as a kit


There are some problems with offering a kit. First is the software that needs to be written in the microcontroller and then the calibration issues: currently all units part of the network have been carefully matched and calibrated to a common reference. This ensures the results are reliable and that would be an issue if distributing the detector as a kit. But maybe we can come up with something later.

* UPDATE: There is a kit available. Have a look here: https://www.uradmonitor.com/products/ 

Opening the network to external devices


The uRADMonitor network, composed of the monitoring stations visible on the Global Radiation portal has the advantage of similar design with reasonable calibration. All stations currently part in the network have been manually verified and calibrated against a known radioactive source.
Should the network allow input from external unknown devices, the accuracy of the data presented could be affected, because there would be no practical way of detecting errors caused by defective design or construction, or various other problems that could appear and pass undetected while feeding erroneous data to the network.
A solution that might work, is to mark the external units with a visible flag, to differentiate them from the genuine uRADMonitor units. An API could be provided for external devices to feed data to the network. Input from this units would be for reference only, and have only limited scientific value, unlike the genuine units that are able to show comparable variations from one geographic location to another thanks to their verified and controlled design.

Data traffic


The devices send small packets of data every minute. It is ok if some are lost (then those measurements will simply not reach the server). Each packet is close to 46 Bytes in size. One day (24h) will total a number of 66KB of data, this a very limited quantity that will work even on slow connections, with no impact issues on other transmissions.

 

There is a firmware upgrade for the modle A.

See the following from Radu's website with a few changes and additions to help explain it a little better. (red text)

 Model A firmware upgrade guide
Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 October 2017 09:40