Radiation-detecting drone developed

15 March 2016

Spanish firm Escuadrone has developed what it claims is the world's first drone equipped with a system for detecting radioactivity. The drone can be used in the management of nuclear-related emergencies, it says.

Drone with radiation detectors - 250 (Escuadrone)
The radiation-detecting drone
(Image: Escuadrone)

The mini-aircraft is equipped with probes for detecting alpha, beta and gamma radiation. Huesca-based Escuadrone said the technology has already been successfully used on ground equipment employed following the March 2011 accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant.

The drone features a system capable of transmitting real-time readings and images anywhere in the world using technology and a number of "military security-level" encryption protocols, the company said. The Apodaca drone is equipped with a powerful engine system which, combined with its large wing area, offers flight times up to 90 minutes, according to Escuadrone.

When used in conjunction with fixed detectors installed on the ground, the drone can be used to establish a neural network of sensors which can completely monitor the most critical areas. Through this network, Escuadrone says, the sensors can trace security perimeters for the protection of populated areas and emergency teams on the ground, which is an "invaluable assistance" when making operational decisions during disasters.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News