Air-Borne Gamma Ray Spectroscopy in Austria

One part of the airborne geophysical helicopter system is used for measuring natural and artificial radioactivity with a gamma ray spectrometer.

Left: Map of the distribution of potassium equivalent concentrations in the area Weitra - Freistadt - Nebelstein (Upper Austria). Right: Map of the distribution of uranium-equivalent concentrations area Weitra - Freistadt - Nebelstein (Upper Austria).
Distribution of equivalent concentrations of Potassium (left) and Uranium (right) in the area of Weitra – Freistadt – Nebelstein (Upper Austria).
© Geological Survey of Austria

Applications include geological mapping (alteration zones) and radiation protection.

The interior of a helicopter. In the right foreground a large metal box with wires in it. Behind it is a seat with a keyboard before. In the background are other instuments.
Geophysical instruments on board of a helicopter of the Austrian armed forces.
© Geological Survey of Austria

A nationwide map of natural radioactivity is currently not available in Austria. To achieve this, an airborne survey with 2 km line spacing would be required.