The world has entered a new nuclear age where the threat of catastrophic nuclear war has subsided, but the proliferation of weapons and the materials, combined with strengthening of non-state actors, have made the threat of “dirty bomb” to substantially increase. This unprecedented danger threatens the security and the safety of the countries around the region and the world.
One of the main challenges in this domain is the detection and mitigation of nuclear threats, especially in big cities. Today, nuclear sources are not just restricted to the already well-controlled power plants or military facilities, but can be widely found in hospitals via medical equipment, medicine, and medical waste, or in research laboratories through research materials, or many other such sources. These sources when obtained distributedly or taken from a single source can easily be engineered to produce a radiological dispersal device or the “dirty bomb.” Moreover, these sources may be mobile, i.e., carried by individuals, and can be moved around through logistical chains, which poses a real threat to the population at large.
To address these challenges, we propose for the first time a multi-faceted approach to develop a well-rounded dynamic participatory system, using Internet of Things (IoT) and Mobile Crowdsensing (MCS), which can provide continuous high-precision and real-time detection, tracking, and localization of small mobile and immobile radiation sources and unexpected radioactive materials, within a noisy radioactive environment in an urban setting. The proposed solution also has the potential to cross the boundary of nuclear detection, as other sensing nodes and networks may be developed, on similar principles, for applications in environmental, industrial, or military monitoring.