Drone to collect data at nuclear and radiation sites
The came up with indoor and underground drone solutions for inspecting claustrophobic spaces in a way safe for the humans involved.
Now, indoor drone manufacturer and services provider Flyability have come up with something new for nuclear science professionals.
The company has just announced that it is working with Mirion Technologies, New York-based provider of radiation detection, measurement, analysis and monitoring solutions to integrate the latter’s software and hardware into Flyability’s Elios 3 indoor drone.
The product integration will enable nuclear operators to collect accurate radiation data remotely by drone, allowing them to remain safely outside of irradiated areas during data collection.
This data will be available live, during the drone’s flight, and afterward, for post-processing.
“Mirion is a leading provider of radiation sensing technology,” said Patrick Thévoz, CEO of Flyability. “This collaboration will allow Flyability’s customers in the nuclear sector to leverage the very best data collection tools available for their work, helping to significantly reduce the need for workers to be exposed to harmful radiation or to the hazards of confined space entry for the purposes of conducting routine inspections.”
Flyability says it tested the new payload from Mirion on the works it undertook in partnership with the Idaho Environmental Coalition (IEC), a contractor for the US Department of Energy (DOE).
The project focused on the collection of LiDAR and radiation data inside a storage vault made to house radioactive waste; and it was a success, providing the data needed to proceed with detailed planning for removing the waste.
It has also partnered with multiple Energy companies across the US and Europe.
“Mirion is excited to collaborate with Flyability to improve radiation safety in nuclear facilities,” said Steve Mettler, Director of Product Management of Mirion Technologies. “The seamless integration of the compact RDS-32 radiation survey meter and the Elios 3 drone enables access to remote areas that otherwise would be hazardous. Mirion’s equipment is widely utilized in nuclear facilities so customers can leverage their current programs and operational familiarity to improve safety.”
Other missions completed with nuclear power generation companies demonstrated the ability to repeatedly perform remote radiation surveying with the RDS-32 meter mounted on the Elios 3. The equipment was notably used to detect and characterise hot spots on the turbine deck of a multi-gigawatt plant.
“Over 80 percent of US nuclear operators already use Flyability’s indoor drones for their visual inspections,” says Alexandre Meldem, Managing Director of the Americas at Flyability Inc. “The ability to provide these customers with top-of-the-line radiation sensing capabilities, via the agreement with Mirion, will significantly help improve their operations, and present an even greater ability to keep engineers safe by reducing their exposure to radiation.
“We are really looking forward to seeing this partnership flourish.”
The Elios 3 – Fllability’s latest offering on its range of underground drones that can crawl in to inspect tight spaces like tunnels, underground drains and shafts – was launched in November last year.