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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is Radiation?

Answer: In physics, '''radiation''' is a process in which energy|energetic particles or energy or waves travel through a medium or space. There are two distinct types of ''radiation''; ionizing radiation|ionizing and non-ionizing. The word ''radiation'' is commonly used in reference to ionizing radiation only (i.e., having sufficient energy to ionize an atom), but it may also refer to non-ionizing radiation (e.g., radio waves, infrared radiation|heat or light|visible light). The energy ''radiates'' (i.e., travels outward in straight lines in all directions) from its source. This geometry naturally leads to a system of radiometry|measurements and physical units that are equally applicable to all types of radiation. Both ionizing and non-ionizing radiation can be harmful to organisms and can result in changes to the natural environment.

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What is The United States Department of Homeland Security?

Answer:  The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a cabinet department of the United States federal government, created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the United States and protectorates from and responding to terrorist attacks, man-made accidents, and natural disasters. In fiscal year 2011 it was allocated a budget of $98.8 billion and spent, net, $66.4 billion.

Whereas the Department of Defense is charged with military actions abroad, the Department of Homeland Security works in the civilian sphere to protect the United States within, at, and outside its borders. Its stated goal is to prepare for, prevent, and respond to domestic emergencies, particularly terrorism. On March 1, 2003, DHS absorbed the Immigration and Naturalization Service and assumed its duties. In doing so, it divided the enforcement and services functions into two separate and new agencies: Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Citizenship and Immigration Services. Additionally, the border enforcement functions of the INS, the U.S. Customs Service, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service were consolidated into a new agency under DHS: U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The Federal Protective Service falls under the National Protection and Programs Directorate.

With more than 200,000 employees, DHS is the third largest Cabinet department, after the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Homeland security policy is coordinated at the White House by the Homeland Security Council. Other agencies with significant homeland security responsibilities include the Departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, and Energy.

According to the Homeland Security Research Corporation, the combined financial year 2010 state and local HLS markets, which employ more than 2.2 million first responders, totaled $16.5 billion, whereas the DHS HLS market totaled $13 billion. According to the Washington Post, "DHS has given $31 billion in grants since 2003 to state and local governments for homeland security and to improve their ability to find and protect against terrorists, including $3.8 billion in 2010."

According to Peter Andreas, a border theorist, the creation of DHS constituted the most significant government reorganization since the Cold War, and the most substantial reorganization of federal agencies since the National Security Act of 1947, which placed the different military departments under a secretary of defense and created the National Security Council and Central Intelligence Agency. DHS also constitutes the most diverse merger of federal functions and responsibilities, incorporating 22 government agencies into a single organization.

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What is a Geiger Counter?

Answer:  A Geiger counter, also called a Geiger–Müller counter, is a type of particle detector that measures ionizing radiation. They detect the emission of nuclear radiation: alpha particles, beta particles or gamma rays. A Geiger counter detects radiation by ionization produced in a low-pressure gas in a Geiger–Müller tube. Each particle detected produces a pulse of current, but the Geiger counter cannot distinguish the energy of the source particles. Invented in 1908, Geiger counters remain popular instruments used for measurements in health physics, industry, geology and other fields, because they can be made with simple electronic circuits.

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What is a Dosimeter?

Answer:  Dosimeters measure an individual's or an object's[1] exposure to something in the environment — particularly to a hazard inflicting cumulative impact over long periods of time, or over a lifetime. This article concentrates on the radiation dosimeter, which measures exposure to ionizing radiation, but other dosimeters also exist, such as sound dosimeters, ultraviolet dosimeters, and electromagnetic field dosimeters.

Ionizing radiation, such as X-rays, alpha rays, beta rays, and gamma rays, remains undetectable by the senses, and the damage it causes to the body is cumulative, related to the total dose received. Therefore, workers who are exposed to radiation, such as radiographers, nuclear power plant workers, doctors using radiotherapy, workers in laboratories using radionuclides, and some HAZMAT teams are required to wear dosimeters so their employers can keep a record of their exposure, to verify that it is below legally prescribed limits.

Crew members aboard NASA Space Shuttle missions had access to four types of active dosimeters should a radiation contingency occur. Crew members were required to wear passive dosimeters at all times throughout the mission.[2]

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How do I operate the Direct-Reading Dosimeter?

Answer:  Download Direct-Reading Dosimeter Manual (PDF)



How do I calibrate the Direct-Reading Dosimeter?

Answer: Arrow-Tech, Inc. not only does the testing and calibration of our own Direct-Reading Dosimeters, but most other manufacturers instruments as well.

Download Calibration and Repair Request Form

Arrow-Tech can design a testing program to match your licensing requirements.  

Our testing procedures meet ANSI N322-1997 standards.



What is a Survey Meter?

Answer:  Survey meters are portable radiation detection and measurement instruments used to check personnel, equipment, and facilities for radioactive contamination, or check external or ambient ionizing radiation fields (to evaluate the direct exposure hazard). They are synonymous with Scintillation counters, Geiger counters and other particle radiation detectors.

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What are the Radiation Does Ranges?

Answer A:  Please refer to this Dose Ranges Chart (Office of Science from The U.S Department Energy)


Answer B:  Please refer to this Radiation Dose  Chart