The Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Rapid and Repeatable 3D Radiological Site Characterization-18352

Dean Connor, Peter Martin, Chris Hutson, Huw Pullin, Nick Smith, Tom Scott

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference Paperpeer-review


As unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are beginning to become heavily featured within a number of industries globally, the technology remains underutilized within the nuclear industry, particularly in routine monitoring investigations. Using a temporary Japanese waste storage facility (used to house topsoil contaminated with fallout from the Fukushima nuclear incident) as an analogy for a typical low-level waste repository (LLWR) site, the suitability of UAV-hosted radiation mapping systems for routine site investigations is evaluated. The criteria used to assess the performance of the custom UAV and commercial radiation mapping system focusses on the repeatability of both the flight and the produced radiation maps from two identical surveys at the chosen site. Additionally, the speed of deployment is assessed against the time taken to complete a walking survey of the site. The results indicate that the radiation maps derived from the two repeat surveys are directly comparable both visually and statistically, despite minor differences in the flight of the UAV between both surveys. Furthermore, the terrain independent nature of the airborne radiation mapping system meant that the time taken to complete the survey was reduced when compared with the similar resolution ground-based survey. The use of UAV-hosted radiation mapping systems therefore presents a powerful tool with which to rapidly complete routine radiological monitoring procedures within active nuclear environments.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventWaste Management Symposia 2018 - Phoenix Conference Centre, Phoenix, United States
Duration: 18 Mar 201822 Mar 2018


ConferenceWaste Management Symposia 2018
Abbreviated titleWM 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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