ATLANTA – If you’re in downtown Atlanta or around Buckhead for the Super Bowl Experience or regular business, you might see some low-flying helicopters over the area. The choppers are from the U.S. Department of Energy and are serving a specific purpose.
The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, or NNSA, is conducting the low-altitude flights as part of security operations for Super Bowl LIII. The choppers will measure naturally occurring background radiation, according to the NNSA.
The measurement of naturally occurring radiation will establish baseline levels and is considered a normal part of security and emergency preparedness, according to the NNSA. The agency said it was making the public aware of the flights to avoid any panic or alarm.
The helicopters, Bell 412 choppers, will fly in a grid pattern over the areas at 150 feet or higher at a speed of approximately 80 miles per hour, according to the Department of Energy. Flyovers will occur only during daylight hours and should take roughly three hours to complete per area scanned.