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Proceedings Paper

Small unmanned aircraft system for remote contour mapping of a nuclear radiation field
Author(s): Paul Guss; Karen McCall; Russell Malchow; Rick Fischer; Michael Lukens; Mark Adan; Ki Park; Roy Abbott; Michael Howard; Eric Wagner; Clifford P. Trainham; Tanushree Luke; Sanjoy Mukhopadhyay; Paul Oh; Pareshkumar Brahmbhatt; Eric Henderson; Jinlu Han; Justin Huang; Casey Huang; Jon Daniels
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Paper Abstract

For nuclear disasters involving radioactive contamination, small unmanned aircraft systems (sUASs) equipped with nuclear radiation detection and monitoring capability can be very important tools. Among the advantages of a sUAS are quick deployment, low-altitude flying that enhances sensitivity, wide area coverage, no radiation exposure health safety restriction, and the ability to access highly hazardous or radioactive areas. Additionally, the sUAS can be configured with the nuclear detecting sensor optimized to measure the radiation associated with the event. In this investigation, sUAS platforms were obtained for the installation of sensor payloads for radiation detection and electro-optical systems that were specifically developed for sUAS research, development, and operational testing. The sensor payloads were optimized for the contour mapping of a nuclear radiation field, which will result in a formula for low-cost sUAS platform operations with built-in formation flight control. Additional emphases of the investigation were to develop the relevant contouring algorithms; initiate the sUAS comprehensive testing using the Unmanned Systems, Inc. (USI) Sandstorm platforms and other acquired platforms; and both acquire and optimize the sensors for detection and localization. We demonstrated contour mapping through simulation and validated waypoint detection. We mounted a detector on a sUAS and operated it initially in the counts per second (cps) mode to perform field and flight tests to demonstrate that the equipment was functioning as designed. We performed ground truth measurements to determine the response of the detector as a function of source-to-detector distance. Operation of the radiation detector was tested using different unshielded sources.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 September 2017
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 10393, Radiation Detectors in Medicine, Industry, and National Security XVIII, 1039304 (7 September 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2272614
Show Author Affiliations
Paul Guss, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Karen McCall, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Russell Malchow, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Rick Fischer, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Michael Lukens, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Mark Adan, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Ki Park, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Roy Abbott, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Michael Howard, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Eric Wagner, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Clifford P. Trainham, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Tanushree Luke, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Sanjoy Mukhopadhyay, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Paul Oh, Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas (United States)
Pareshkumar Brahmbhatt, Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas (United States)
Eric Henderson, Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas (United States)
Jinlu Han, Astro Flight, Inc. (United States)
Justin Huang, Astro Flight, Inc. (United States)
Casey Huang, Astro Flight, Inc. (United States)
Jon Daniels, Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10393:
Radiation Detectors in Medicine, Industry, and National Security XVIII
Gary P. Grim; Lars R. Furenlid; H. Bradford Barber, Editor(s)

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