Dallas to Raleigh at 35,000 Feet

The night of November 26 I flew from Dallas, TX to Raleigh-Durham, NC.  Maximum altitude was 35,000 feet.  However, it was really turbulent so the crew elected to descend to 29,000 feet after 15 minutes and stay there till descent an hour later.

On the ground in Dallas, the radiation level was .06 uSv/hr (micro-Seiverts per hour).

At 29,000 feet the average radiation level was 1.5 uSV/Hr

At 35,000 feet the average radiation level was 2.4 uSv/Hr

The flight departed at midnight, Eastern Standard time.  Flight duration from wheels up to wheels down was 2 hours and 5 minutes.

Total radiation dose and the max radiation received can be seen in the screen shots below.

DFW-RDUTotal-resized    DFW-RDUMax-resized

If I’d stayed on the ground in Dallas I would have received .126 micro-Seiverts of radiation.  Instead, I received the above quantity of 2.74 micro-Seiverts.

The objective, here, is not to convince you to stay on the ground and never fly.  No way.  The radiation received on short flights like this, flown once in a while, ads very little to ones total, yearly count.  For example, between this flight and my last flight three weeks previous (see previous post) I received 37.3 uSv while hanging out in Dallas.

We want to keep our annual radiation dose under 4,000 micro-Seiverts per year.  Living in Dallas, one would get about 500 uSv per year from background radiation.  If one flew every 3 weeks on a flight like this, one would only get another 50 uSv.  That totals 550 uSv per year.  Far, far below the accepted “safe dose” for the public.

In a few weeks, I’m supposed to do a flight to Saudi Arabia.  It will be interesting to see what 16 hours at varying altitudes and latitudes will total up to.

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