TI-Alpha Field simulator 1962-1963

The Navy was running into a problem, they could not expose their instructors to large amounts of radiation while conducting alpha detections in the training. Safe radiation levels were being revised to smaller and smaller amounts and the training was too dangerous. The training used detectors to locate the radiation and the student then used swabs to wipe surfaces which would then be sent to a laboratory to determine if it is radioactive. Reliable alpha detection requires lab work. The instructors seeding the location with alpha contamination were doubly exposed when teaching students and so there was a serious problem of instructors hitting their limits for radiation exposure each year and over their lifetime.

So the Navy developed a method of using a florescent substance not seen by human eyes but could be detected with an instrument that worked exactly like an alpha source detector. They built detectors that work just like the real detectors and this article shows the instruments. They were deployed in 1963, but the Navy continued using radioactive materials for detecting gamma and beta radiation.

But this presents a serious problem to detection today. Is the Navy using the real detectors in their alpha detection at the Shipyard and Treasure Island or are they using the simulator? Because if they are using the simulator, it will not detect the real thing!

We need to know exactly which device was used for each sample and location!

Naval Training Bulletin, Summer Fall 1962, NAVPERS 14900, Bureau of Naval Personnel, pp 42-43

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