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Radiation Monitoring of Earth Surface and Atmosphere


Development of Methods of Observation of the Radiation Conditions on the Earth's Surface and in the Atmosphere for Monitoring from a Space Vehicle.

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Research Testing Center for Radiation Safety of Space Objects, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • NPO Mashinostroieniya, Russia, Moscow reg., Reutov\nNIIIT (Pulse Techniques), Russia, Moscow

Project summary

The damage caused by failures at nuclear industrial installations belonging to different states and the environmental impact of such accidents are comparable in their consequences with large-scale natural disasters. The aftereffects of such failures have no national borders. Therefore, the monitoring of the radiation conditions on the surface of the Earth and in its atmosphere should be of an international nature so that a rapid detection of the emerging dangerous radiation situations would be possible and necessary steps ensuring safety of the population could be taken.

The development of a system for the monitoring of the radiation conditions based on orbital space vehicles is believed to be a commercially advisable approach to the organization of an international global observation structure. However, the commonly accepted methods of recording radiation emitted by radioactive contaminations on the Earth's surface using the instruments located aboard a space vehicle are unsuitable because of absorption of radiation by the terrestrial atmosphere. Therefore the development of a method enabling such measurements becomes a key problem of the establishment of a global monitoring system.

The objective of the proposed project is a scientific, technological, and experimental substantiation of the method of measurements enabling the monitoring of the radiation conditions on the Earth's surface and in its atmosphere using the instruments placed aboard an orbital space vehicle.

To be performed within the framework of the project are theoretical estimations and experimental measurements aimed at justifying the main principles and technical feasibility of the concept of a monitoring system and also full-scale field tests for certification of reference areas of the Earth's surface contaminated with radioactive fallout.

Methods of detecting radioactive contaminations using high-resolution radiolocation of the environment, laser sounding methods, methods of detecting the biogenic effect of radiation on the environment, methods of detecting radiation-induced structural changes accumulated in the substances entering into the composition of rocks, and methods of restoring the absorbed radiation doses will be studied.

The expected results of work performed under the project:

- scientific, technological, and experimental substantiation of the method of monitoring the radiation conditions on the Earth's surface using the instruments placed aboard an orbital space vehicle;

- determination of the technical features of the global monitoring system and of its major technical data;

- a technical proposal for a demonstration experiment based on the use of ALMAZ space vehicle.

The experience gained in solving some of these problems gives reason to hope that following this direction, it will be possible to create efficient methods of detecting radioactive contamination of the environment so that the project will become a real step on the road to setting up a system of global environmental monitoring.

Foreign partners on the project could participate in the investigations for joint development of methodology for the remote detection of radioactive contamination of the environment and processing of measuring systems. At the second stage of the project they can participate in preparation of demonstration experiment on the base of space station (ALMAZ) and in the experiment itself.


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