BNC Scientific has added a UAV equipped with radiation detectors to its suite of hazardous materials and first responder instrumentation. The lightweight PHOENIX ACE RAD Airborne Radiation Detector detects gamma and x-rays from a safe distance using a tablet and joystick controller.
According to the company, UAVs with nuclear radiation detectors are valuable tools for radiation detection and incident mitigation programmes. “Radiation detection UAVs have amazing potential to support hazmat agencies and provide critical information on plume direction, contamination levels and potential risks,” Allan Gonzalez, Detection Systems Product Manager, explained.
The PHOENIX ACE RAD will be used for aerial and plume mapping, site surveying and for inspecting buildings and other structures, offering the twin advantages of low-cost surveys and the ability to reach difficult places. The UAV has flight endurance of an hour and weighs less than 7 pounds. A high-resolution camera provides operators with a clear view and its IP65 rating ensures the unit can operate in fog, light rain or dry, sandy conditions. Additional features planned for late 2017 include neutron detection, gamma spectroscopy capabilities and waypoint support.