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Gamma radiation survey conducted at Albuquerque, NM, USA

Integrated Systems
March 30, 2021

Environmental Restoration Group (ERG) has performed a gamma-radiation-based UAV survey at Albuquerque, NM. The integration of a DJI M600 Pro with a Ludlum model 44-10 detector coupled to a compact digital survey meter and UgCS SkyHub computer allowed the radiation survey to be conducted at detector heights down to 1-meter, something that was not previously feasible without a significant amount of pre-processing of elevation maps.

The ERG M600 Unmanned Aerial System or Vehicle (UAS or UAV) was designed to perform primarily gamma-based radiation surveys in locations where ground-based surveys are impractical or unsafe. The default configuration of the UAS incorporates a DJI M600 Pro with a Ludlum model 44-10 detector coupled to a compact digital survey meter and UgCS SkyHub computer. Additional detector configurations can be used, depending on project needs. The UAS is capable of being controlled manually or autonomously using defined transects with terrain contouring via an onboard radar sensor or data elevation maps.

‘We have always loved the UgCS software, but the true terrain-following allows our UAV to achieve radiation detection sensitivities similar to those of ground-based surveys by allowing the detector to be closer to the ground. This makes it possible for us to perform high-quality screening and characterization surveys in areas otherwise inaccessible to personnel,’ Tyler Alecksen, CHP, Sr. Engineer at ERG, comments.

ERG utilizes aerial platforms for performing surveys in limited and inaccessible areas. The development of the drone-based survey capability was developed primarily for use in mapping radiation levels in challenging environments, including extremely rough terrain, other unsafe environments for ground personnel, or in sensitive areas where soil and vegetation disturbance may be an issue. These include areas within and around abandoned uranium mines, culturally sensitive areas, national laboratories, military installations, and other sites.

Watch the flight at ugcstv.