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Ionising radiation

Environmental Radioactivity - Medicine - Occupational Radiation Protection - Nuclear Hazards Defence

Ionisierende Strahlung

Helicopter-borne Measurement Exercises

According to the Precautionary Radiation Protection Act (Strahlenschutzvorsorgegesetz), large-scale determination of naturally occurring radioactivity as well as airborne detection of sources of ionizing radiation is in the area of jurisdiction of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz - BfS). There are two airworthy standby gamma spectrometric measuring systems at each of the BfS sites in Berlin and Munich in order to fullfill this task. Operational readiness is ensured due to annual joint measurement exercises of the BfS and the German Federal Police (Bundespolizei - BPOL). During these exercises, the measuring systems are mounted to helicopters of either the BPOL or the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance.

Aerial view of a mountainous landscape

Helicopter-borne Measurements

Helicopter-borne measurements of radioactive materials (aero-gamma spectrometry) provide substantial advantages over other measuring techniques in an emergency, such as an accident in a nuclear power station. Depositions of radioactive materials in the soil can be assessed promptly, flexibly and selectively, as well as on a large scale without having to enter highly contaminated areas

Hubschrauber landet

Measurement excercises and corresponding results in detail

The main measurement excercises and their results have been published on the Internet since 2011. National and international excercises have been carried out in various areas such as Saxony and Thuringia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Hesse and Baden-Wuerttemberg.

Two people are getting into a Bundeswehr helicopter

History of Airborne gamma spectrometry

In the early 1970s, the then Institute of Radiation Hygiene (ISH) of the German Federal Health Agency (BGA) - part of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) since 1989 - began to develop and to test measurement methods for monitoring emissions and immissions from nuclear installations.

Silhouettes of people

International cooperation in the field of aero-gamma spectrometry

The Federal Office for Radiation Protection performs regular national measuring exercises and has also participated in several international measuring campaigns in cooperation with the German Federal Police since the mid-1990s.

© Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz