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Sunday, March 7th, 2021

Helicopter being used to take background radiation measurements ahead of Super Bowl LII

© Shutterstock

Ahead of Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis on Sunday, the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is conducting measurements of naturally occurring background radiation using a low-flying helicopter.

Naturally occurring radiation measurements are a standard security and emergency preparedness practice to establish baseline levels before major events. NNSA’s Remote Sensing Laboratory Aerial Measuring System is conducting the measurements using a Bell 412 helicopter from Joint Base Andrews.

“The helicopter will fly in a grid pattern over the area at 300 feet (or higher) above the ground surface at a speed of approximately 80 miles per hour,” an NNSA release stated.”Flyovers will occur only during daylight hours and are estimated to take about three days to complete.”

Measurements were expected to be completed on Monday, the day after Super Bowl LII. NNSA issued the bulletin so that the public would not be alarmed to see a helicopter crisscrossing U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis Police Department is coordinate federal, state and local security efforts at the event. The FBI is the lead agency in charge of terrorism, cyber attacks, and major crimes. Super Bowl Sunday will be the culmination of years of public safety and preparedness training among federal, state and local agencies.