Development of Low-Cost Aerial Survey and Spectroscopy Systems


E. Groeber, J. Mercier


In 1999, the U.S. military initiated a developmental program for aerial survey and identification of radiological ground contaminants and point sources. The program has evolved into development of a large area survey and spectroscopy system using fixed or rotary wing platforms. System capabilities fall in the range for detection and identification of 10- to 100 mCi sources with photon energies greater than 60 keV at aircraft speeds of 60 to 70 knots (31 to 36 m s–1) at altitudes of 45 to 225 m. Lessons learned include trade-offs between sensitivity and point source strength, photon energy and limits on operational altitude, manned and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operations, detector placement on the aircraft, rules of thumb on effective ground area coverage, telemetry setups, correlation between aircraft coordinates and ground coordinates, and choice of counting algorithm for optimal detectability of point and area sources. Various program costs and future directions of the program will be discussed.


This abstract was presented at the 37th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Air Monitoring and Internal Dosimetry", Homeland Security and Air Monitoring Session, 2/8/2004 - 2/11/2004, held in Augusta, GA.

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