ADVACAM – a spin-off of the Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU) – and the Laboratory of Multi-robot Systems (MRS) at CTU are partnering to develop a drone that will independently search for radiation.
“The aim of the project is to create a drone capable of flying and locating radiation where existing systems are unable to operate,” said Martin Saska, head of the MRS group.
The advantage over systems currently in use is the combination of small size and flexibility of the drones allowing for movement in hard-to-reach locations and the ability of autonomous flight.
“We don’t need what most drones need today, and that’s a GPS signal. The drone only needs sensors that it carries itself on board, thanks to which it recognizes even complex obstacles and can move even where GPS navigation is not possible. Simultaneously, our system will be small, which will allow it to fly into an environment with obstacles, and so smart that it will be able to fly in that environment,” stated Saska.
The detectors will be provided by ADVACAM, and the drone development is the responsibility of MRS. It is expected that the drones will serve the police, military, rescue services, and nuclear power stations.
“Development of this device is possible not only thanks to excellent experts from CTU, but also thanks to detectors from ADVACAM. The latest detector to be used here is not only powerful, but also small and lightweight, allowing it to be used on a drone or even in space,” says Jan Sohar, CEO of ADVACAM. “The detector operation in the monolithic Compton camera mode is quite unique, which will allow determination of the direction of radiation for several captured particles. The drone no longer needs to search the entire space, point by point, but thanks to the knowledge of the direction, it heads straight to the source. The search speed thus increases significantly. Another advantage is the high mobility that allows it to get close to the source and identify it very quickly. Combining all the benefits will increase search efficiency by about 100 times over conventional methods,” said Jan Jakůbek, CSO of ADVACAM.