Measuring gamma radiation

People that are living in the vicinity of nuclear power plants, are depending on official measurements in the case of incidents. What if we could use readily available devices in order to create tools that can help us in case of raised radiation levels?

A smartphone, laptop, tablet or PC with a webcam are in principle suitable to measure gamma radiation. This works best when you cover the camera lens with something that completely blacks all light out, like for instance aluminium foil covered with black tape or aluminum tape.

Is it true this could be so simple? Could a few old smartphones distributed across an area inform us directly about local radiation levels? And could we even model alerting on top of that, sending out alerts when certain thresholds are surpassed?

In the third Amsterdam based pilot of the European Making Sense program, we will dive into these exciting possibilities. Together with citizens, local governments, official bodies, activists, hackers, designers and internet-experts we will organize three co-creation workshops to learn, create and release the tools and knowledge back into the public domain.