DIY Nuke detector patrols SF Bay

DIY Nuke detector patrols SF Bay

5064841 41C33Dddf4
Wired has an article about a group of Makers who made their own portable radiation detector to patrol the San Francisco bay while we wait for gov get their detectors… 5 years from now – “The Department of Homeland Security announced plans last month to bolster U.S. port defenses with radiation scanners. The program, primarily aimed at detecting nukes smuggled by terrorists in shipping containers, will cost an estimated $1.15 billion, but won’t be completed until 2011.

Here on the San Francisco Bay, a group of do-it-yourself volunteer researchers is not waiting for the mushroom cloud. They say they are close to perfecting a portable device that could do much the same thing right now, for total out-of-pocket costs of about $12,000. The group, led by physicist and Sandia Lab weapons subcontractor Stanley Glaros, says it has already built a boat-mounted scanner with off-the-shelf parts that might reliably spot radiation spikes in container ships at sea from a kilometer away.”Link.

Hmm, this would be a good open source hardware project to coordinate, and with enough people making these, the costs could go down…

Pictured here, the USB GM-10 Geiger Counter Radiation Detector – Link.


  • $100 Radiation visualizer – Link.
  • Detecting Cosmic Rays on planes – Link.

6 thoughts on “DIY Nuke detector patrols SF Bay

  1. bkkbrad says:

    That’s good. I worry about the nuclear wessels.

  2. yalla says:

    Spin spin spin. Come one, although it’s a fun project we all should calm down a bit. If it’s worth 10kUSD i suggest investing the money in fundings for 3rd-world developing-aid.


    Sorry to say this, but the terrorism-craze finally swept over to Germany. We geeks seem to be the only remaining sane people in the world – don’t get infected by threat-levels. The level of paranoia seemed to have risen by a couple of magnitudes since the attempted bomb-attacks in german trains (with propan-bottles, not nukes!) and every stupid unknown and unimportant politician seems to be a security-policy expert nowadays.

    Bruce Schneier had a nice rant about it today:

    Just my 2c,

  3. Kirk says:


    I’m in the process of putting together something for under $200.

    Take an RM-60 geiger counter from here:

    Wire it up to an old Palm Pilot or laptop or hacked GPS like a Magellan 3100:

    Maybe even a bluetooth link to a cell phone..hmmm

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

current: @adafruit - previous: MAKE, popular science, hackaday, engadget, fallon, braincraft ... howtoons, 2600...

View more articles by Phillip Torrone