Heads up, Boston: A helicopter will be flying around the city at altitudes as low as 150 feet this week, but officials say there’s no cause for concern.
The National Nuclear Security Administration announced in a statement that from Tuesday through Friday, a low-flying helicopter will be measuring “naturally occurring background radiation” over an area covering 13 square miles.
The helicopter, equipped with radiation-sensing technology, will fly in a grid pattern at about 80 miles per hour. The flights will only happen during daylight hours.
“The measurement of naturally occurring radiation to establish baseline levels is a normal part of security and emergency preparedness,” the statement read.
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Picking out a nuclear device or a dirty bomb from the air is a difficult task. As the above report suggests, searching for them can be a slow, difficult process. The signal-to-noise ratio can be VERY low.
In a former life, I worked with several individuals whose research was helping to solve this problem. They were very smart people, so hopefully by now they have perfected the process as much as humanly possible.
Hmmm ... "as much as humanly possible"? Does that imply that robots/AI could do better? We'll soon know.