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Mordecai
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,077
Unit: SI

« on: May 15, 2017, 05:52:24 PM »

I ask this question in light of the existence of the FEMA radresponder network. It seems FEMA has upgraded their aerial and ground radiological monitoring capabilities; What are the chances we might be able to either borrow or purchase said gear and train with that technology? It isn't like this is a subject that wasn't in our wheelhouse before and the FEMA MOU for ground/air radiological monitoring is still active.

https://www.radresponder.net/
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 850

« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2017, 08:24:02 PM »


It seems FEMA has upgraded their aerial and ground radiological monitoring capabilities; ...

If so, then why would they need us? I'm clueless as to previous history, but your statement just begged the question.
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MS - MO - AP - MP
Eclipse
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2017, 08:55:54 PM »

There's no way CAP can catch back up on RADMON or get ahead of the curve enough to
participate in a meaningful way.

The equipment it had was Lunar-Lander era technology which has long ago been
disposed of or consigned to museums, and despite the fact that some members
continued to get training from outside agencies, RADMON hasn't been a mission capability of CAP in probably 30+ years.



If CAP decided today that RADMON was important and a new mission, if would be 5 years before the capability existed,
and by then they'll be hanging monitoring gear on the same UAVs working SAR.

There's also the non-trivial issue of CAP conservative approach to member risk, and asking people to
"go see if that area is hot" isn't likely to even go back on the list.  I can't even imagine how high the ORM
on that would be, or the reaction of a typical CAP mom when she found out her butterfly
was sweeping aircraft for radiation (as a cadet is shown above in that 1956 photo).

Back to the OP, this appears to be a data collection & aggregation app & service, but not a capability in and of itself.

« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 10:01:48 PM by Eclipse » Logged

"Effort" does not equal "results".
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

Lord of the North
Forum Regular

Posts: 111

« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2017, 09:44:46 PM »

Speaking as someone who participated in the early radiological monitoring training and having worked professionally in radiological controls most of my adult life, any radiological monitoring for CAP is dead.  In the original training, it was planned as a possible assist after a nuclear attack on the US.  In those scenarios, the radiation doses would be in the REM/hour (a dose of 600 REM is generally lethal to 50% of those who receive that dose in a short period of time.  The equipment for use in the airborne monitoring readout ONLY in REM/Hours (and only for gamma radiation).

Today the threat is more from dirty bomb contamination when the dose rates are not nearly as high but the risk of ingestion or inhalation pose a much higher risk.  In these cases, the instruments would most likely be able to detect radiation in the milliRem or microRem ranges.  This equipment is expensive, not radially available to the general public and requires some serious health physics training to be able to interpret what may be detected.

The government has already invested much time and money in preparing the response assets to cope with the types of scenarios that could possibly happen.

CAP does not fit in this mission at all.
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Mordecai
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,077
Unit: SI

« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2017, 10:04:56 PM »

Speaking as someone who participated in the early radiological monitoring training and having worked professionally in radiological controls most of my adult life, any radiological monitoring for CAP is dead.  In the original training, it was planned as a possible assist after a nuclear attack on the US.  In those scenarios, the radiation doses would be in the REM/hour (a dose of 600 REM is generally lethal to 50% of those who receive that dose in a short period of time.  The equipment for use in the airborne monitoring readout ONLY in REM/Hours (and only for gamma radiation).

Today the threat is more from dirty bomb contamination when the dose rates are not nearly as high but the risk of ingestion or inhalation pose a much higher risk.  In these cases, the instruments would most likely be able to detect radiation in the milliRem or microRem ranges.  This equipment is expensive, not radially available to the general public and requires some serious health physics training to be able to interpret what may be detected.

The government has already invested much time and money in preparing the response assets to cope with the types of scenarios that could possibly happen.

CAP does not fit in this mission at all.

Actually I consider the greatest risk to be a radiological incident at one of our reactors or cleanup sites. Consider for example the Hanford radiation incident that just happened this month. With slightly different circumstances, having local aerial assets wouldn't be a bad thing, especially considering this statement:

“Radiological screening of concerned citizens should be
stressed as a major psychosocial stress reduction
factor, and aerial surveys could greatly help in
alleviating this stress. Populated areas around
commercial nuclear plants would be prime aerial
baseline survey projects.”
Mark Henry, State of Washington Department of
Health, Office of Radiation Protection

We can be useful in these tasks and I feel that we are underestimated quite a bit by both our veteran members and other agencies.
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Eclipse
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Posts: 27,988

« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2017, 10:14:39 PM »

We may well be underestimated, but in this case the only people involved should be paid professionals.
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"Effort" does not equal "results".
The contents of this post are Copyright © 2017 by eclipse. All rights are reserved. Specific permission is given to quote this post here on CAP-Talk only.

etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 850

« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2017, 10:45:02 PM »

We may well be underestimated, but in this case the only people involved should be paid professionals.

Dittos and thumbs up, many times over.
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MS - MO - AP - MP
Toad1168
Forum Regular

Posts: 130
Unit: NCR-MO-110

« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2017, 09:27:58 AM »

Early on as a cadet working flight line, I remember we were trained on this.  I may be wrong, but I think we were evaluated on it too.
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Mike Toedebusch
Spaatz Award 1168 - 1 June 1993
wacapgh
Forum Regular

Posts: 180

« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2017, 05:41:54 PM »

CDX = Civil Defense Exercise. Used to wear a ribbon with a device to show participation (I don't remember how many were required to award it). The ribbon lives on as DR, without the CD device. "Decontamination Practice" was a welcome relief in summer months  ;D

AIR-RADMONT was a required task for Observer back then as well. Neat patch along with it  8)
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GaryVC
Forum Regular

Posts: 122
Unit: PCR-NV-070

« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2017, 06:11:54 PM »

CDX = Civil Defense Exercise. Used to wear a ribbon with a device to show participation (I don't remember how many were required to award it).

One of several ribbons I can't wear since I rejoined. It was one exercise but you had to do other things like attend a first air course and a radiological monitoring course.
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Mordecai
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,077
Unit: SI

« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2017, 10:29:27 PM »


It seems FEMA has upgraded their aerial and ground radiological monitoring capabilities; ...

If so, then why would they need us? I'm clueless as to previous history, but your statement just begged the question.

For the same reason we exist for other missions: We can put planes in the sky cheaper than any agency.
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 850

« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2017, 11:28:08 PM »


For the same reason we exist for other missions: We can put planes in the sky cheaper than any agency.

For a limited time only ... the cheap, long range drones cometh ....
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PHall
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 5,864

« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2017, 11:36:30 PM »


For the same reason we exist for other missions: We can put planes in the sky cheaper than any agency.

For a limited time only ... the cheap, long range drones cometh ....

That don't get radiation sickness....
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SarDragon
Global Moderator

Posts: 10,060
Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2017, 12:38:29 AM »

CDX = Civil Defense Exercise. Used to wear a ribbon with a device to show participation (I don't remember how many were required to award it). The ribbon lives on as DR, without the CD device. "Decontamination Practice" was a welcome relief in summer months  ;D

AIR-RADMONT was a required task for Observer back then as well. Neat patch along with it  8)

What was the time frame for this? I was a rated observer back in the late '70s, and it was only an option.
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
Mordecai
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,077
Unit: SI

« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2017, 01:19:32 AM »


For the same reason we exist for other missions: We can put planes in the sky cheaper than any agency.

For a limited time only ... the cheap, long range drones cometh ....

A problem that will affect all CAP missions if we keep at our current methodologies of trying to get missions (read, not actually trying to get missions)
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Luis R. Ramos
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Posts: 2,523

« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2017, 08:41:25 AM »

Quote

That don't get radiation sickness....


Yet still will have to be rad-decontaminated...

 >:D
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Squadron Administrative Officer
Squadron Communication Officer
Squadron Emergency Services Officer
wacapgh
Forum Regular

Posts: 180

« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2017, 03:16:32 PM »

CDX = Civil Defense Exercise. Used to wear a ribbon with a device to show participation (I don't remember how many were required to award it). The ribbon lives on as DR, without the CD device. "Decontamination Practice" was a welcome relief in summer months  ;D

AIR-RADMONT was a required task for Observer back then as well. Neat patch along with it  8)

What was the time frame for this? I was a rated observer back in the late '70s, and it was only an option.

Could be. I was only a C/MSGT in '77 and that's what we were told by The Powers That Be at the time.

Was taught by the state, a few hours classroom and got .5 in the back seat recording the random dial readings generated by the instructor in the front seat.

Note: There was no age restriction on getting the rating, you just couldn't fly on AF missions until you were 18.
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sardak
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,142

« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2017, 11:20:07 PM »

Air RADMON was required to be an observer. I’m looking at CAPM 50-5, “Observer Manual” dated 8 Aug 1975. Training was divided into two phases:
“Phase I is rather abbreviated but is designed to qualify scanner candidates in a short time to become productive members of the SAR team. Completion of Phase I qualifies the trainee as a scanner.”
“Phase II is somewhat longer and more demanding. Phase II qualifies the trainee as an observer and earns the aeronautical rating.”

2-11 Aerial Radiological Monitor training. ARM training must be completed and certification accomplished prior to performing observer duties on ARM missions. The trainee observer must:
 a.    Complete the 16-hour civil defense home study course, “Introduction to Radiological Monitoring.”
 b.    Complete the 8-hour practical training course, “Aerial Radiological Training.”
 c.    Be certified as an aerial radiological monitor by  a Civil Defense Agency.

2-12 Administrative Requirements
a.    Phase I. Complete Attachment 3 pertaining to Phase I (qualified scanner annotated on CAP 101)
b.   Phase II
 (1)   Complete Attachment 3 pertaining to Phase II.
 (2)   Complete aerial radiological monitoring through Civil Defense.
 (3)   Obtain ARM certification through Civil Defense.
 (4)   Complete CAP 116 ES exam.
 (5)   Complete end-of-course observer exam.
 (6)   Qualified observer annotated on CAP 101. Complete request for award of observer wings.

CAPM 50-15, Emergency Services, 15 April 1983, required an observer to have ARM.

CAPM 50-75 wasn’t superseded until the release of CAPR 50-15, CAP Operational Missions, 1 January 1992. There was no requirement for ARM in this document.

Mike
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SarDragon
Global Moderator

Posts: 10,060
Unit: NAVAIRPAC

« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2017, 01:54:02 AM »

Interesting.

I have Observer on my 101 card that expires 31 Jan 1974, and I was only Ground Radiological Monitor qualified. I never got the airborne part. It's also on my 101 that expires 31 Jan 1982.
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
Spam
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 944
Unit: GA-001

« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2017, 03:08:36 AM »

I qualified as MO in the mid/late 80s after turning senior member (indeed, it was the main reason I turned SM on going to college, as cadets couldn't fly on operational missions in those days) and did the ARM training. I had done the GRM training in GA Wing as a cadet at Dobbins AFB.


Sardak, I recall my CO of the time required me to complete the 50-5 training which included a checklist on or near the back cover. If you have th manual, could you check: didn't that performance checklist set (which included a series of hops for both MS and MO) include practical flight checks?  I recall that this presented a problem by the late 80s, in that I'd passed the book learning and the practical, on-aircraft equipment checks, but for actual DREXs the gear wasn't allowed to be signed out/installed/flown (which was nuts, if you're going to train, fight like trained, and train like you intend to fight). 


Taking the Ground ARM training as a cadet was stressful, with the videos and the statistics and the grim facts presented. We all fully expected in the early 80s that we would need this when we entered the service, as we expected to be fighting the Soviet assaults in MOPP IV in the final war (no kidding, it was a different mindset as a cadet then). Yet, the Ground ARM gear (once we'd all trained on THAT) was all kept locked up in a warehouse in the middle of Atlanta on Confederate Avenue, which was likely to be ground zero of a Soviet strike, we all joked. Not a lot of sanity in the decaying CD program of the late cold war.  I just do not see us ever, ever, ever, regaining this mission set now that we better know what ionizing radiation does to two of CAP's biggest demographics: youth and the older generations who are most vulnerable to injury.


V/r
Spam


PS, Luis, on decontamination, UAS systems which accumulate a dose will be disposable, and won't be decontaminated. When DoD considers a CONOPS of just dumping tactical jets over the side from the flat tops rather than dose the hangar deck by taking them below for mx, then you know that dirty UAVs are disposable commodities!

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walter1975
Recruit

Posts: 10
Unit: MER-VA-084

« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2017, 12:00:15 PM »

I am not entirely sure that the dirty bomb or power plant or industrial accident scenarios are the only credible threats today.  I agree that there is considerable capability to deal with localized exposure events, and that the monitoring requirements for these are different from the old Civil Defense mission requirements.  However, with the proliferation of nuclear capability matched to missile delivery capability, a case can be made that there are scenarios in which we would be dealing with the results of nuclear attack, either on the United States or as global fallout from a theater level nuclear conflict.  The old Civil Defense reporting networks no longer exist (and in many cases never really did exist - much of the CD program was about political mobilization rather than actual capacity building), and I doubt the capability of current systems to effectively monitor widespread fallout from even a small nuclear laydown.  Having watched the British Royal Observer Corps do this in the 1970s in NATO exercises, I can say that this is a problem requiring significant capabilities and high reliability, and I never saw that level of capability in US CD operations or subsequently in my employment as an emergency manager.   
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sardak
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,142

« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2017, 11:24:38 PM »

Sardak, I recall my CO of the time required me to complete the 50-5 training which included a checklist on or near the back cover. If you have th manual, could you check: didn't that performance checklist set (which included a series of hops for both MS and MO) include practical flight checks
Spam, what a memory. I can't remember what I had for breakfast today. Yes, the back cover of 50-5 has a checklist which the trainer initialed. There were 5 required training flights:
Phase I - Scanner - Flight #1 - training must at least include area orientation, map reading, visual search and communications procedures and techniques.
Phase II - Observer
Flight #2 - pilotage techniques
Flight #3 - radio navigation
Flight #4 - search demonstration
Flight #5 - CD (Civil Defense for the younger ones, not counterdrug) and aerial radiological monitoring. "Use airborne radiological monitoring equipment in use by his unit." was one of the steps to complete on this flight. The step that tripped you up.

Mike
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Brit_in_CAP
Seasoned Member

Posts: 361
Unit: MER-VA-002

« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2017, 10:04:35 AM »

Having watched the British Royal Observer Corps do this in the 1970s in NATO exercises, I can say that this is a problem requiring significant capabilities and high reliability
Indeed.  I was able to watch the ROC at work during my RAF service; it was an impressive operation for an organization that was 90% volunteer and operated on a shoestring budget.  It was also remarkably egalitarian. 

It's also history.  The ROC was stood down on 31 December 1995 (31 March 1996 for HQ staff) once the Government realized how much it would cost to modernize the organization, let alone simply maintain the capability. 

For those interested, you can find on YouTube a film in 3 sections titled "To Sound a Warning".  Its part infomercial and part drama.  You can see the organization at work even if the acting leaves a lot to be desired!  You don't want to be Observer #3... >:D

Personally, I think this isn't a mission for CAP.  It's been said elsewhere; risk aversion, equipment, staffing, training.  The ROC built - literally and figuratively - on its WW2 network whereas we'd be starting from nothing.
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LGM30GMCC
Seasoned Member

Posts: 318

« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2017, 06:23:59 PM »

I am not entirely sure that the dirty bomb or power plant or industrial accident scenarios are the only credible threats today. . . However, with the proliferation of nuclear capability matched to missile delivery capability, a case can be made that there are scenarios in which we would be dealing with the results of nuclear attack, either on the United States or as global fallout from a theater level nuclear conflict.  The old Civil Defense reporting networks no longer exist (and in many cases never really did exist - much of the CD program was about political mobilization rather than actual capacity building), and I doubt the capability of current systems to effectively monitor widespread fallout from even a small nuclear laydown. 

This is an area I feel comfortable addressing a little.

I don't think "small nuclear laydown" quite means what a lot of people think it means. A few scenarios and the challenges we face.

Single High-Altitude Burst. Depending on height of burst, location, and many other factors that we don't fully understand...the area of effect could range from several states, to the whole country, or perhaps a little smaller. Fall out would be minimal, if present, and really not the biggest concern at this point. Any advanced electronics not EMP hardened are likely toast at this point. So all our nice G1000 aircraft may well be fried. But so are fuel pumps, credit card readers, lap tops, ipads, cell phones, most modern cars...etc etc. CAP in the area of effect would likely be crippled, and CAP assets outside of the area (again, we're talking multi-state sized impact areas) may not be able to refuel in the heart of the affected area until forward staging of AVGAS or some way to get at the AVGAS that is in the impacted area. (Not impossible...but a massive logistics effort.)

1 to "a few" strategic weapons. We're talking in the hundreds of kiloton range here. If they were "ground bursts" (the kind that make the most fall-out" it depends again on what the targets were. Some adversaries might go for a few hardened targets, military targets to try to tip the scale in the nuclear conflict. Other adversaries might go for soft targets...like cities. Depending on the adversary we're talking about you're looking at anything from Hiroshima/Nagasaki levels of destruction in a modern city...to weapons around a hundred times more powerful. The scale of devastation depends on many factors (time of year, dryness of surrounding plant life, and on and on.) Once again CAP may or may not be able to really operate in the area of effect for days-to-weeks-to-months at which point RM by us isn't necessarily going to contribute much.

In a full-scale laydown....yeah...no.

Finally, with advances in weather modeling, blast modeling, and the like, we don't need as many aircraft or teams on the ground trying to find where the fall-out plumes are moving. There are ways to get a pretty good idea without the need to put civilians in light aircraft, who aren't equipped to handle the worst case, in the area of danger.

And...of course...there are already military assets dedicated to precisely this kind of thing. They have much better sniffers than we could hope to have, and the training and logistical capability to do it much better than us.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_WC-135_Constant_Phoenix
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wingnut55
Seasoned Member

Posts: 351

« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2017, 05:36:14 AM »

I recently had a long discussion with an Engineer with the department of Energy RAP (Radiological Assistance Program) team at Nellis AFB, I was on a rudimentary RAP/Broken Arrow team in the
Air force in the 70s, so I was able to engage him in somewhat familiar vocabulary and experiences. We both chuckled at CAPs early days of Radiological Monitoring, because in the 50s and 60s it was really make believe, not based on science or reality. Flying a Piper Pacer into a radioactive cloud to tell Civil Defense people that it "was" a radioactive cloud is by todays standards a suicide mission. But, the cold wars was a hectic and different time for CAP. My father was both a CAP pilot and a Federal Government employee, as such all Govt. employees were Civil defense officials and I grew up reading all of his Radiological Defense material. Later, in the Air Force I was taught that a Nuclear exchange was a survivable event according to the DOD. And the Tactical use of nuclear weapons was a common war strategy but I digress. back to the real world.

According to the Department of Energy, any Nuclear event would be handled in such a way that the RAP team when requested or when dispatched, is in an advisory capacity only to the State.
SO the RAP (Radiological Assistance Program Team) (Note not RAT), provides the following:

1. Plume Predictions, as appropriate.
2.Air and ground concentrations in time and space.
3. Deposition patterns of isotopic concentrations and exposure rates.
4. Concentrations in Environmental media in time and space.
5. Assurance of Quality of Data.
6.Retrevable documentation of environmental conditions.
7. Dose predictions in time and space.
8. Results of Data collection, analysis, evaluation,and predictions.
9. Technical assistance to State and LFA (Lead federal Agency) decision making officials as requested,
10. Weather forecasting.

Lead Federal Agencies can be FEMA, DOD, NASA, EPA, or DOE

The Department of Energy has full time RAP teams on standby, they use Twin turbine engine aircraft that carry over 10 million dollars of equipment, satellite communications,
and most importantly Highly educated scientists such as nuclear physicists', Meteorologists', Biomedical engineers. The DOE RAP teams (only a few exist) can be anywhere in the US in just a few hours. And they do not actually fly into a radioactive cloud, with speed and realtime 3D Air sampling modeling they just skirt the edges, above and below, watching its movement, flow pattern, how much radiation and predicting movement.

SOOOO  Class

What can CAP do??? Stay out of there way is what we can do, and make the Aerial Radiological Survey Patch into another ribbon for Cadets, like a Boy Scout Merit Badge.

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LTC Don
Seasoned Member

Posts: 354
Unit: MER-NC-143

JoCo CAP
« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2017, 07:20:35 AM »

Flying a Piper Pacer into a radioactive cloud to tell Civil Defense people that it "was" a radioactive cloud is by todays standards a suicide mission. But, the cold wars was a hectic and different time for CAP.

You make some salient points, and there is a lot of 'What were they thinking' as we look back into that time-frame.  The purpose of ARM was not what you stated though. The process and instrumentation, good bad or otherwise, was to help estimate the radiation on the ground to determine where the most dangerous hot spots/areas were, not flying into clouds of fallout to say 'Yep, that's hot'.  There was a lot of math involved back then and most probably fruitless, but as I recall, everyone took the job very seriously.

I'm sure the reality is correct though, totally useless in the long run.

I completed ARM training back in 1983, the same year 'The Day After' came out, ironically.
http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2016/05/12/on_the_americans_the_jennings_just_watched_the_80s_nuclear_war_movie_the.html
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Donald A. Beckett, Lt Col, CAP
Commander
MER-NC-143
Gill Rob Wilson #1891
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