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TitleIn-flight 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
SourceNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment vol. 954, 161609, 2020 p. 1-8, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20200261
Meeting17th Symposium on Radiation Measurements and Applications (SORMA); Ann Arbor; US; June 11-14, 2018
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is related to Flight performance of the Advanced Radiation Detector for UAV Operations (ARDUO)
File formatpdf
Subjectsengineering geology; Science and Technology; mathematical and computational geology; gamma-ray surveys; directional surveys; Aerial photography
Illustrationsphotographs; 3-D diagrams; screen captures; plots; spectra
Released2018 11 26
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. Flying lower and slower than manned aircraft, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) 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 explosives, airborne chemical hazards, or open water. 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 UAVs. The detector features eight 2.8 cm x 2.8 cm x 5.6 cm CsI(Tl) crystals arranged in a self-shielding configuration, read out with silicon photomultipliers. The signal is digitized using miniaturized custom electronics. The ARDUO is flown on a main- and tail-rotor UAV called Responder which has a 6 kg lift capacity and up to 40 minute endurance. Experiments were conducted to characterize the performance of the ARDUO and Responder UAV system in both laboratory and outdoor trials. Outdoor trials consisted of aerial surveys over sealed point sources and over a distributed source of 10 MBq/m(2) of La-140. Results 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, the results show how utilization of the directional information in post-acquisition processing can result in improved spatial resolution of radiation features for both point and distributed sources.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
This publication discusses the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, for radiological and nuclear emergency response in Canada. Natural Resources Canada is responsible for conducting aerial radiometric surveys in case of a radiological or nuclear incident. Traditional manned aircraft surveys are crucial for managing such emergencies. However, this study explores the use of UAVs equipped with advanced radiation detectors for improved spatial resolution. Drones can fly lower and slower than manned aircraft, making them ideal for detailed surveys. They can also access hazardous areas, including radiologically contaminated zones, where it might be unsafe for humans.
The Advanced Radiation Detector for UAV Operations (ARDUO) is an innovative device that features eight CsI(Tl) crystals arranged for precise radiation detection. It can be mounted on a small UAV called Responder, which can fly for up to 40 minutes. Experiments conducted in the lab and outdoors demonstrate that ARDUO and Responder can effectively locate and assess radiation sources, offering real-time data and improved spatial resolution.
This research enhances Canada's emergency response capabilities, allowing for safer and more accurate radiological assessments during emergencies.

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