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Drones will carry out radiological measurements. The nuclear sector can now rely upon the assistance of unmanned aircraft to carry out radiological measurements without any human intervention. In contrast to traditional measurement techniques, the information is actually already being received while the drone is still in the air. 

The Belgian nuclear research center SCK CEN and the Belgian aeronautical specialist Sabca have developed a drone that will enable the characterization of forms of radiation and carry out the radiological monitoring of nuclear sites and their surroundings.

Sabca provides two types of drone: a fixed-wing drone that can fly autonomously for hours and the multicopter, which can carry heavier detectors without sacrificing flexibility. A scintillation counter is attached to the drone. The device measures radioactivity by counting flashes of light caused by the influx of ionising radiation, which in turn indicates the magnitude of the radiation dose. The more light, the more radiation, according to insideunmannedsystems.com.

“The drones will be first used as a preventive measure to study areas for potential radioactive contamination,” said Belgian Minister of the Interior, Annelies Verlinden. “We are also preparing for possible remediation. Thanks to the detector, measurements can be performed during crises without any human intervention. This maximizes the protection of collaborators.”