Alion Science and Technology


Android App Delivers Highly Realistic Radiation Detection Training


Radiation detector training is crucial for both military personnel and first responders, but training with actual radioactive materials and detectors is rarely practical. To meet this need, Alion developed a highly realistic yet low cost solution under a contract to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).

VIRTUS, which stands for the “VIrtual Radiation Training through Ubiety System”, is a suite of apps that brings accurate training simulations to most current Android phones and tablets. (“Ubeity” means "the state of being placed in a definite local relation" – radiation detection depends on proximity to the source material.”

Using the Android device’s GPS, VIRTUS can display simulated dose rates, among other measurements. The system can even use Bluetooth beacons to simulate radiation sources, allowing training designers to create complex scenarios in a number of environments. Instructors can develop these scenarios directly on VIRTUS and then wirelessly disseminate those scenarios to other VIRTUS devices.


The VIRTUS beta is available for download now, and development is continuing to add new features and greater value for trainees.

Visit the DTRA website for more details on VIRTUS and to download the beta software. Distribution is authorized to US military personnel; federal, state, and local first-responders; and selected others.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency is the Department of Defense agency that provides chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and hi-explosive (CBRNE) technical advice, assistance, and support to the Secretary of Defense, the Services, and Combatant Commanders.