Asian Surveying & Mapping
Breaking News
Swedish Space Corporation Introduces Their Global Ka-Band Network
Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) has geared up to meet...
ASA releases EO from Space Roadmap
The Australian Space Agency (ASA) has set out its...
Omicron map: this interactive map shows where the COVID-19 variant has spread so far
The Omicron Covid-19 variant has the world on pins and...
Australian Space Agency releases Earth Observation from Space roadmap
The Advancing Space: Australian Civil Space Strategy 2019-2028 identified...
China Launches New Satellite For Earth Observation
A Long March-4C carrier rocket carrying the Gaofen-3 02...
Ouster Expands to Japan and South Korea to Support Growing Demand for High-Resolution Digital Lidar Sensors
SAN FRANCISCO - Ouster, Inc. (NYSE: OUST) (“Ouster” or...
New Zealand’s Counties Energy Partners with GE Digital for its Digital Utility Transformation
GE Digital today announced that Counties Energy, an electricity distribution network...
The Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors: Best Development & Conservation Award 2021 Surveying Excellence in Development and Conservation
HONG KONG SAR  - The results of HKIS Best...
India, Japan researchers working on smartphone-based mapping of cracks, potholes in roads
The joint project is aimed at developing an affordable...
Dubai Airshow 2021: Israeli companies offer space systems, UAVs to the Middle East
UAVs and new communications and Earth observation satellites were...
SafeCast

Two independent teams have done a thorough job of documenting and mapping the extent and intensity of the impact. Researchers  from Japan, Norway and the United States teamed to analyze the impacts that were published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A second report, from a separate group of Japanese scientists, investigated levels of radioactive cesium, iodine and tellurium on the surface in east-central Japan.

At the end of August, Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) released a map showing caesium-137 concentrations in the soil from measurements at more than 2,000 locations in and around Fukushima. However, the government has been slow to share broader radiation readings, and historically notorious for their willingness to share this type of data with the public. The scarcity of reliable information led to a public effort with Joi Ito, director of MIT Media Lab, as an instrumental actor in getting a crowdsourced solution off the ground.

Volunteers armed with sensors have been hard at work to understand and map the radiation impacts through the nonprofit organization Safecast, which has a global presence. These volunteers use a number of sensors such as geiger counters to measure raw radiation levels from moving vehicles and on the ground, to help determine hot spots that should be avoided.

In addition off-the-shelf sensors, the Safecast group has configured a sensor cluster they’ve named Bento geigie that is made up of a geiger counter, a GPS receiver, and an SD card to record readings. These devices are being distributed for vehicle-based sensing, and the readings are being aggregated on a map in order to communicate the contamination levels to the public.

Among the interesting findings from all this data is that the mountains sheltered northwestern and western parts of Japan as the radioactive cesium-137 that came from the plant largely blew into eastern and northeastern areas.

The Japanese government has taken responsibility for decontamination in the country. The levels of radiation are expected to severely restrict food production in eastern Fukushima Prefecture and hinder agriculture in neighboring provinces. The hotspots are being documented closely, and soil is being decontaminated in areas where there is high concentration.

While it’s reassuring to have readings on a map where they can be quantified and monitored, the recovery process is a long one with any radioactive contamination as the half-life of these radioactive elements is at minimum 30 years.

Resources