USM researching new ways of detecting radiation in air

USM researching new ways of detecting radiation in air

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - University of Southern Mississippi researchers are working on developing safer and more accurate ways to detect radiation in the air.  They're using lasers and a vacuum chamber to determine atmospheric changes due to radiation.

The research is funded by the Dept. of Defense and it could result in technology that could help first responders measure radiation from much greater distances.

"What we'd like to try to do instead of having to have the radiation hit the radiation detector, we want to be able to stand far away and probe the air, the atmosphere around the radioactive source and use the air itself as an indicator of the presence of radiation in that area," said Dr. Chris Winstead, chairman of the Dept. of Physics and Astronomy at Southern Miss.

About a half-dozen graduate and undergraduate students are working on the project.