Radaway | Mayday, Mayday, Mayday!

Singapore

Awards & Nominations

Radaway has received the following awards and nominations. Way to go!

Galactic Impact

The solution with the most potential to improve life on Earth or in the universe.

The Challenge | Mayday, Mayday, Mayday!

Calculate and visualize the radiation exposure for an actual or hypothetical polar, or near-polar flight!

Radaway

A balanced, personal perspective on the quantities and risks of radiation.

Radaway

Note: There are a few missing images, as the editor seemed to flake out, keep an eye out for the links.

Explanation

Frequent flyers and flight crew often spend in excess of 20 hours per week in flight. This, along with the flight path they take and date, mean they are exposed to ionising radiation at higher/varying rates than the general population. But existing tools to check on radiation exposure are unwieldy and confusing to use, resulting in poor understanding and uptake. We propose an app to bridge this communication gap by both logging exposure easily, and expressing quantity and risk in easy to understand terms.

Summary

Initially we looked at the challenge in a more technical way- visualizing flight paths and radiation exposure, 3D representations, flight route optimization, solar storm warnings and the like. But we couldn't ignore the confusing mess of graphs in front of us! How is the average person going to quickly understand their level of risk from this?


We took a step back and decided to look at it from the perspective of the public, choosing the most regularly exposed groups- air crew and frequent flyers. Sure, we could make something that gives them a number, but so what? How are they going to understand that in relation to other sources of radiation they are exposed to, and what's the increase in risk?

We set up phone interviews with 5 senior flight crew (>30 years service), a frequent flier and a risk analyst in the airline industry.

Insights from interviews

Specifics regarding airline policy, flight crew awareness, processes regarding radiation dosage quotas etc were uncovered. The salient points:

  • The airline just gives a number to the flight crew
  • The flight crew know that when they hit their action limit (6 micro Sievert) they may need to adjust rosters
  • They generally check it once or twice a year, but apart from the relationship with their quota they have no further understanding of it
  • Flight crew generally know that some routes increase their exposure compare to others
  • Flight crew and Frequent Fliers are often more concerned with the radiation from full body scanners in security than radiation from a flight
  • Passengers never ask about radiation exposure
  • Flight crew do think twice about flying a lot if pregnant
  • When pregnant, a woman's radiation action limit is reduced to the level of the general public, as the unborn baby is considered the general public
  • Flight crew sometimes wonder if the radiation exposure over their entire career is something to worry about

For full documentation of our UX process, check out Moses' blog post:

https://medium.com/@mosesandersonong/nasa-space-ap...

And now we know who Marissa Musk is: