DOE Announces Radiation Detection Aircraft

The Department of Energy has introduced a new aircraft unit that will work to enable specialized radiation detection capabilities.

Built by Textron's Beechcraft subsidiary as an extended range variant of the King Air 350i system, the King Air 350ER is designed to perform baseline surveys and gauge ground and air contamination through the National Nuclear Security Administration's Aerial Measuring System, DOE said Thursday.

The department noted the aircraft will augment AMS's capacities in conducting accelerated wide-area assessments of nuclear activities.

“As part of its dual public safety and national security mission, AMS aircraft frequently support security preparations for high-profile events such as presidential inaugurations, the Super Bowl, Boston Marathon, and other major public events," said Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, administrator at NNSA.

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NASA has certified the computer system that would process the data of an upcoming uncrewed lunar flyby, which will serve as a prerequisite to future astronaut missions. The spacecraft command and control system (SCCS) is designed to address the information capacity and speed requirements of NASA's Artemis I mission, the space agency said Thursday.