The Flight with a Dosimeter in the Pocket

The developer of personal dosimeters presented me with an interesting gift at one of Skolovo conferences in early 2011. It was a funny DO-RA gadget made in the form of an Easter egg and packed in a large cardboard box like a smartphone. Apparently, its designers new that their boss Viktor Vekselberg, chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation, was fond of Faberge eggs. They made a plastic copy of the famous Easter gift of the Russian Imperial Court.

I found a dusty box with the DO-RA gadget just before a business trip to the United Arab Emirates. The device had no battery and was connected to Apple smartphones via a standard audio jack. It is worth noting that, starting with the 7th iPhone model, the Apple Inc. no longer releases smartphones with an audio jack considering it an anachronism. However, the abandonment of the quite utilitarian interface such as audio jack coincided with the release of expensive Airpod earphones. Well, it's their business to earn money on all sorts of restrictions.

Since I was using iPhone-XS without an audio jack, I had find an old iPhone-6 to measure the radiation level with a pocket dosimeter. To my surprise, the Do-RA.Uni mobile application compatible with archaic DO-RA.Fab model was installed in it. By the way, the developers are now releasing DO-RA.Q –a cross-platform solution for iOS and Android.

So, I plugged the device into the audio jack of my iPhone, opened the app and heard rhythmic clicks, as in old-fashioned models of military dosimeters. Strangely enough, my device was working despite the fact that it had spent over 7 years somewhere in the wardrobe. At home, the application showed a green color, corresponding to the surrounding radiation level and displayed a figure of 0.12 mkSv/h with a soothing message  "Norm". Now I was ready for any radiation emergency!

Later, when I boarded the plane, I was ready to measure the background radiation along the way. While the flight attendants were helping passengers to take their seats, I opened Sky Shop App and scrolled through some pages. I was interested in the Ecovisor developed by SOEKS – a cute device for measuring nitrates in vegetables and fruits, the quality of drinking water and the level of radiation hazard. I thought that this device would be useful in the household or might be a nice gift, and I bought it for 184 Euro without any doubt.

The flight attendants began their standard show about safety and accident prevention on board, and I studied Ecovisor manual. It said that the device appeared to have a very simple intuitive interface. The measurement mode is selected with clicking on buttons on the touch screen. Then, for the fun of it, I decided to compare radiation measurements with my pocket DO-RA gadget and with the Ecovisor purchased on board.

When the flight altitude reached 7 km, both devices indicated the enhanced radiation level on the board, which was evident from the readings of the Ecovisor and od the DO-RA App. The DO-RA application displayed the orange danger indicator of the radiation level on the board of the aircraft. When I asked the flight attendants what they thought of the radiation on board, one of them said that she was interested in it, but she did not have such a device and asked me where she could purchase it. I said that such gadgets could be easily purchased on some web-sites, such as:, as the price for Ecovisor was rather high in the Sky Shop.

After a while, the aircraft commander informed us that our aircraft reached the standard airlane of 11.5 km above earth. By this time, the Ecovisor display and the  DO-RA App. screen shifted from the orange level of danger to the red one. Then I asked another flight attendant of her opinion about the increased radiation on the board.

She was offering red and white wine to passengers. The flight attendant replied calmly: - Yes, the radiation level here is slightly higher. We have been informed about it. Still, someone has to work in planes, hasn't he? I told her that mariners on atomic submarines were given 200 ml of red wine for each day of the service. Red wine is not just a remedy from the fear of the deep diving, but, actually, a natural radioprotector. I asked two glasses of red wine as a cosmonaut on a low orbit ;)

The positive effect of the natural red wine is based on the strong oxidizing properties of this product. Red wine inhibits the effect of free radicals and suppresses oxidative processes initiated by the ionizing radiations.

It can be concluded from the above that a personal dosimeter is a must-have device in the technogenic age. Take it with you to walk in the woods, to go fishing or on business, to buy real estate and food at the market, because invisible radiation can reach you in any place, such as plane, which you cannot leave quickly.