Validating Safecast data by comparisons to a U. S. Department of Energy Fukushima Prefecture aerial survey (Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 2017)

Link

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0265931X17300218

Citation

Mark Coletti, Carolynne Hultquist, William G. Kennedy, Guido Cervone. 2017. "Validating Safecast data by comparisons to a U. S. Department of Energy Fukushima Prefecture aerial survey." Journal of Environmental Radioactivity. Volume 171, May 2017, pp 9-20.

Abstract

Safecast is a volunteered geographic information (VGI) project where the lay public uses hand-held sensors to collect radiation measurements that are then made freely available under the Creative Commons CC0 license. However, Safecast data fidelity is uncertain given the sensor kits are hand assembled with various levels of technical proficiency, and the sensors may not be properly deployed. Our objective was to validate Safecast data by comparing Safecast data with authoritative data collected by the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U. S. National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) gathered in the Fukushima Prefecture shortly after the Daiichi nuclear power plant catastrophe. We found that the two data sets were highly correlated, though the DOE/NNSA observations were generally higher than the Safecast measurements. We concluded that this high correlation alone makes Safecast a viable data source for detecting and monitoring radiation.