UK: University of Bristol researchers have unveiled a large semi-autonomous drone called the ARM system which could be used to provide visual and thermal monitoring of radiation after a release of nuclear material. Jointly funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Sellafield, it is intended to avoid some of the problems that occurred at the Fukishima disaster where, according to the University, as well as causing the reactors to fail, “the inundation also disabled 23 of the 24 radiation monitoring stations surrounding the site, leaving disaster response teams effectively ‘blind’ to the ensuing radiation hazard.
Dr Tom Scott, the project lead and Director of the Interface Analysis Centre in the University”s School of Physics, said, “By using light-weight and low-cost unmanned aerial vehicles systems, we can immediately and remotely determine the spread and intensity of radiation following any such event. The systems have sufficient in-built intelligence to deploy them following an incident and are effectively disposable if they become contaminated.”
Source: Electronics Weekly