Vulnerability of personal radiation meters to international electromagnetic interference (IEMI)
In case of emergencies involving ionizing radiation, first responders will have to rely on robust measurement equipment for accurate risk assessment. Furthermore, radiation meters enable efficient control of illicit radionuclide traffic as well as effective radiation protection schemes in industrial environments. An increasingly relevant threat to routine operation of electronics consists in high-power microwave (HPM) radiation. Technological progress as well as information proliferation has brought a wide array of manageable equipment within reach of individuals. In order to assess the susceptibility of personal radiation detectors, i.e., the risk of faulty measurements or even damage being induced, several representative devices have been exposed to pulsed HPM. A variety of effects over frequencies ranging from 0.3 GHz to 3.4 GHz has been observed, their possible impact on typical usage scenarios will be analyzed in ourstudy. The most severeeffects include wrong readings of the radiation dose rate exceeding natural background by three orders of magnitude.