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February 26, 2013 AT 2:00 am

Tracking Radiation Levels While Flying

The Mechatronics Guy decided to take along a geiger counter while flying and manually log data to see the results.

I recently flew interstate for work and decided to do a bit of science on the way. Taking along my handy-dandy geiger counter (which in addition to having a 10yr battery is also blessed by the FCC for flight use), a notebook and a pen, I sketched down the raw counts from the meter every minute of the flight.

Why did I do this? Well, if you haven’t noticed, the universe is trying to kill us. Cosmic radiation comes in from space, but is attenuated from earth’s atmosphere. When you start moving outside the earth’s atomosphere, the level goes up. Not quite enough to be worrisome, but pretty interesting if you happen to be able to monitor it.


Detect particles and/or make a cool random number generator with this handsome Geiger counter kit. This easy-to-make pack of parts turns a simple Geiger-Muller tube (included) into a portable blink, beeping radiation detector. You can also connect an FTDI friend to the header, to get serial output for datalogging on your computer.  Also be sure to check out our glow-in-the-dark radiation skill badge!

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