This technology features a low-cost, lightweight, low-power radiation spectrometry system with directional capability that can be used with an unmanned vehicle for autonomous detection, location, and identification of sources of radiation. The direction-sensitive radiation detection system (DSRD) indicates the direction of the source of the radiation. Once near the source, an energy-sensitive radiation detector generates an energy histogram, identifies characteristic spectral features, and ultimately identifies the radioisotopes present at its location. This information is wirelessly transmitted to human observers.
Features & Benefits
Background of Invention
Finding and identifying radiation sources or illicit special nuclear materials (SNM) are vital to such efforts as emergency response and border security. It requires a radiation detection system capable of locating any radioisotopes present in the surrounding area in a very short-time operation. Current hand-held detectors do not have a directional capability and the source must be found by carrying the detector over the suspect area a number of times and observing changes in count rate. Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a radiation detection technology for unmanned vehicles to locate and identify radiation sources. In an autonomous searching system, directional information collected from the detection system is used by the motion or flight control unit to guide the vehicle toward the radiation source autonomously.
A prototype of the technology has been developed and the system is currently under laboratory test and characterization.