Safety Computer Forecasts Atomic Fall-out Pattern (May, 1956)
Safety Computer Forecasts Atomic Fall-out Pattern
How “safe” is it to test an atom bomb ? Will wind-blown radioactive dust or charged rain clouds endanger life or crops in inhabited regions?
The National Bureau of Standards recently developed a “portable” analog computer to assist in predicting radioactive fall-out from a nuclear explosion. The fall-out pattern appears instantly on oscilloscope (left of photo) after weather data and the size and type of bomb are “told to” the computer by setting dials. As computers go, “portable” means that it will fit into a truck.
Wind-carried fall-out even from “small” atomic tests has traveled as far as Paris and Tokyo when caught in the “jet stream” of the upper atmosphere.