High-Resolution Aerial Radiation Mapping for Nuclear Decontamination and Decommissioning

Peter Martin, Tom Scott, Oliver Payton, John Fardoulis

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Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are now widely employed as part of numerous applications including defence, search and rescue as well as within scientific fields such as high-altitude atmospheric sampling and remote sensing, to name but a few. However, their application to the high-resolution detection of radiation anomalies (specifically as part of the routine monitoring on nuclear sites) has been less well explored. In this work, we present the results of the radiation monitoring via a lightweight aerial platform on an active nuclear site (Sellafield Ltd.); having already deployed the device in the Fukushima-contaminated region. The system employed was able to detect regions of elevated radiation at the sub-meter scale as well as attributing the species responsible. Such a system presents an extremely powerful tool where it is not desirable, nor practical, to send human operators. Results presented show that the platform is easily capable of operating within the challenging and confined settings of a site such as Sellafield (or other similar sites worldwide).
Original languageEnglish
Article number17371
Number of pages9
JournalWMS Journal
Issue number3
Early online date3 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017
EventWM2017: WM Symposium - Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Duration: 5 Mar 20179 Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

Conference proceeding, contained within a regular journal issue.

Structured keywords

  • Cabot Institute Low Carbon Energy Research


  • nuclear
  • radiation
  • mapping
  • Remote sensing
  • UAV


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