Scientists from the Czech Technical University in Prague are planning to develop a drone for radiation monitoring.

The group has combined teams from the Multi-Robot Systems laboratory of the Czech Technical University in Prague and the Finnish-Czech company ADVACAM, a specialist in visualisation systems.

The Multi-Robot Systems team will create an unmanned flying platform – a drone, and ADVACAM will undertake to design an on-board radiation detector.

According to plans, the drone will be able to independently detect radiation in areas such as, ports, airports, disaster sites, landfills or nuclear facilities.

Scientists are aiming to create a drone capable of flying in areas where most existing systems are unable to operate.

"We don't need what most drones need today to control the flight, and that's the GPS signal," said Martin Saska, group leader at the University's Faculty of Electrical Engineering. "The drone only needs sensors that it carries itself on board, thanks to which it detects even complex obstacles and can therefore move even where GPS navigation is not possible."

Such a platform for detecting radiation sources, according to the developers, will be safer, cheaper and "100 times more effective" than the work of ground-based teams of people.

A working prototype of a drone with a radiation detector will be ready by autumn and the commercial launch of the project is scheduled autumn 2021.

Negotiations are underway on cooperation with the National Technical University of Ukraine – Kiev Polytechnic Institute of Igor Sikorsky on the development, the university said.

The US-based Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) recently worked with manufacturer RADeCO and Exyn Technologies, a developer of aerial robot systems, to demonstrate an autonomous drone at Exelon’s Peach Bottom nuclear power station in Pennsylvania.

Photo Credit: Czech Technical University in Prague