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TitleFlight performance of the Advanced Radiation Detector for UAV Operations (ARDUO)
AuthorChen, C MORCID logo; Sinclair, L EORCID logo; Fortin, RORCID logo; Coyle, M; Samson, C
Source2018 Symposium on Radiation Measurements and Applications (SORMA XVII), abstract book; 2019 p. 116-117 Open Access logo Open Access
LinksOnline - En ligne (complete volume - volume complet, PDF, 3.35 MB)
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20180165
PublisherNational Nuclear Security Administration (United States)
MeetingSORMA XVII - 2018 Symposium on Radiation Measurements and Analysis; Ann Arbor, MI; US; June 11-14, 2018
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
Subjectsgeophysics; Science and Technology; Health and Safety; geophysical surveys; radiometric surveys, airborne; radioactivity; gamma-ray spectrometers; in-field instrumentation; Advanced Radiation Detector for UAV Operations (ARDUO); drones; Emergency services; Data processing
ProgramCanadian Hazard Information Service
Released2019 06 01
AbstractNatural Resources Canada is responsible for the provision of aerial radiometric surveys in the event of a radiological or nuclear emergency in Canada. Manned aerial surveys are an essential element of the planned consequence management operation, as demonstrated by the recovery work following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and their effects in Fukushima, Japan. However, manned surveys are limited to some minimum speed and altitude in order to maintain safe flight conditions for the pilots and other occupants. Flying lower and slower than manned aircraft, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platform can provide improved spatial resolution. In particular, hot spot activity can be underestimated in manned survey results as the higher flight altitude and wider line spacing effectively average the hot spot over a larger area. Moreover, a UAV can enter an area which is too hazardous for humans, due not only to the radiological threat which is its target, but also to other anticipated hazards such as a potentially explosive environment, an environment with airborne chemical hazards, or open water. For these reasons, Natural Resources Canada has been investigating the inclusion of UAV-borne radiation survey spectrometers into its aerial survey response procedures. The Advanced Radiation Detector for UAV Operations (ARDUO) was developed to exploit the flight and lift capabilities available in the under 25 kg class of UAV. The detector features eight 2.8 x 2.8 x 5.6 cm CsI(Tl) crystals arranged in a self-shielding configuration, read out with silicon photomultipliers, and digitized with miniaturized custom electronics. The ARDUO is flown on the main- and tail-rotor Responder UAV which has a 6 kg lift capacity and up to 40 minute endurance. Point sources of Cs-137, Co-60, Am-241 and Na-22 with strengths of from 0.5 mCi to 5 mCi were arranged in various configurations in a trial area of approximately 100 m x 50 m. Aerial surveys with the Responder + ARDUO UAV system were flown over the trial area at altitudes of 5 m to 20 m and speeds from hover to 15 m/s. As well, surveys were flown over nearby buildings containing radioactive sources. We present here the results of these trials. We show how the directional response of the ARDUO can provide an indication in real time of source location to guide the UAV during flight. As well, we show how utilization of the directional information in post-acquisition processing can result in improved spatial resolution of radiation features.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The advanced radiation detector for unmanned aerial vehicle operations (ARDUO) was designed and built by Natural Resources Canada. The ARDUO is composed of eight crystals in a self-shielding arrangement. This allows it to point to a source in real time. A series of experiments in the laboratory and in outdoor surveys were conducted to determine how the ARDUO performs.

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