Since the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in March 2011, the technology available for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for radiation monitoring has improved greatly. Remote access to radiation-contaminated areas not only eliminates unnecessary exposure of civilians or military personnel, but also allows workers to explore inaccessible places. Hazardous levels of radioactive contamination can be expected as a result of accidents in the nuclear power industry or as a result of the intentional release of radioactive materials for terrorist purposes (dirty bombs, building contamination, etc.). The possibility to detect, identify, and characterize radiation and nuclear material using mobile and remote sensing platforms is a common requirement in the radiation sensing community. The technology has applications in homeland security and law enforcement, customs and border protection, nuclear power plant safety and security, nuclear waste monitoring, environmental recovery, and the military. In this work, the authors have developed, implemented, and characterized a gamma-ray detection and spectroscopy system capable of operating on a UAV. The system was mainly developed using open-source software and affordable hardware components to reduce development and maintenance costs and provide satisfactory performance as a detection instrument. The designed platform can be used to perform mapping or localization tasks to improve the risk assessment process for first responders during the management of radiological and nuclear incidents. First, the design process of the system is described; the result of the characterization of the platform is then presented together with the use of the prototype installed on a UAV in an exercise simulating a radiological and nuclear contamination scenario.

A High-Performance Gamma Spectrometer for Unmanned Systems Based on Off-the-Shelf Components

Chierici A.;D'errico F.;Ciolini R.
2022-01-01

Abstract

Since the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in March 2011, the technology available for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for radiation monitoring has improved greatly. Remote access to radiation-contaminated areas not only eliminates unnecessary exposure of civilians or military personnel, but also allows workers to explore inaccessible places. Hazardous levels of radioactive contamination can be expected as a result of accidents in the nuclear power industry or as a result of the intentional release of radioactive materials for terrorist purposes (dirty bombs, building contamination, etc.). The possibility to detect, identify, and characterize radiation and nuclear material using mobile and remote sensing platforms is a common requirement in the radiation sensing community. The technology has applications in homeland security and law enforcement, customs and border protection, nuclear power plant safety and security, nuclear waste monitoring, environmental recovery, and the military. In this work, the authors have developed, implemented, and characterized a gamma-ray detection and spectroscopy system capable of operating on a UAV. The system was mainly developed using open-source software and affordable hardware components to reduce development and maintenance costs and provide satisfactory performance as a detection instrument. The designed platform can be used to perform mapping or localization tasks to improve the risk assessment process for first responders during the management of radiological and nuclear incidents. First, the design process of the system is described; the result of the characterization of the platform is then presented together with the use of the prototype installed on a UAV in an exercise simulating a radiological and nuclear contamination scenario.
2022
Chierici, A.; Malizia, A.; Di Giovanni, D.; D'Errico, F.; Ciolini, R.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1140396
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