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Establishes baseline radiation levels as part of standard security and emergency preparedness activities

WASHINGTON – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) will conduct low-altitude helicopter flights over Washington, D.C., Tuesday to measure naturally occurring background radiation.

The public may see an Aerial Measuring System (AMS) twin-engine Bell 412 helicopter, which is equipped with radiation sensing technology and is operated by the Remote Sensing Laboratory Aerial Measuring System from Joint Base Andrews.

AMS is an element of the Nuclear Emergency Support Team (NEST), which comprises all DOE/NNSA radiological and nuclear incident response assets.

The helicopter will fly in a grid pattern at 150 feet (or higher) above the ground at slow speeds. Flyovers will occur only during daylight hours.

The measurement of naturally occurring radiation to establish baseline levels is a normal part of security and emergency preparedness.

Click here for video footage of past flights by NNSA’s Aerial Measuring System.