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Inventors at DHS Laboratory Awarded Patent for Radiation Warning Device

Radiation warning

Inventors at DHS Laboratory Awarded Patent for Radiation Warning Device

The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate announced that two inventors working at its National Urban Security Technology Laboratory were awarded a patent for a new device that makes a distinct and audible alarm when it detects dangerous levels of radioactivity. Electronics engineer Norman Chiu and physicist Paul Goldhagen jointly received U.S. Patent 11,140,476 B1 for inventing the new emergency responder apparatus.

In a statement, the DHS said that the new invention, officially called the “Remote Audible Alarm Accessory for Detection Instruments with Audio Outputs,” has been nicknamed the “Chiubox” by the NUSTL staff. The new device provides a distinct alarm that is much louder than standard personal radiation detectors and similar equipment. Additionally, the remote alarm box does not require any batteries or external power and can be stored indefinitely without maintenance, ensuring that the device is immediately ready for use in an emergency.

It was explained that in the event of a radiological or nuclear incident, emergency response agencies and HAZMAT teams would set up community reception centers to screen members of the public for potential exposure to radioactive contamination. PRDs would be placed in strategic points to detect radioactivity on people being pre-screened before entering the main screening area. However, the personal protective equipment worn by hazmat personnel and other environmental factors reduce the audibility of alarm sounds from the PRD, the DHS said Thursday.

NUSTL deputy director Steve Vargas commended Chiu and Goldhagen for their “innovation and intellect in creating and building their invention, and their perseverance and patience in seeing through the patent application process.”

With their latest invention, Chiu and Goldhagen join fellow NUSTL patent holders, physicist Gladys Klemic and mechanical engineer Celia Murtagh, who invented a very thin, wearable radiation dosimeter designed for emergency responders, the DHS added.

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