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Article

Use of Multi-Rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Radioactive Source Search

by 1, 1,5, 1,2,*, 1, 1,3,4,* and 6
1
Center for Intelligent Transportation Systems and Unmanned Aerial Systems Applications, State Key Laboratory of Ocean Engineering, School of Naval Architecture, Ocean & Civil Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
2
School of Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China
3
China Institute for Urban Governance, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
4
International Center for Adaptation Planning and Design, School of Landscape Architecture and Planning, College of Design, Construction, and Planning, University of Florida, P.O. Box 115706, Gainesville, FL 32611-5706, USA
5
School of Public Economics and Administration, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Shanghai 200240, China
6
Shanghai Institute for Supervision over Radio-environment, Shanghai 200065, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(5), 728; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10050728
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 6 May 2018 / Published: 9 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs))
In recent years, many radioactive sources have been lost or stolen during use or transportation. When the radioactive source is lost or stolen, it is challenging but imperative to quickly locate the source before it causes damage. Nowadays, source search based on fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can significantly improve search efficiency, but this approach has higher requirements for the activity of the uncontrolled radioactive source and the take-off sites. The aim of this study was to design and demonstrate a platform that uses low-cost multi-rotor UAVs to automatically and efficiently search for uncontrolled radioactive sources even with lower activity. The hardware of this platform consists of a multi-rotor UAV, radiation detection sensor, main control module, gimbal and camera, and ground control station. In the search process, the ground control station and UAV communicate wirelessly in real time. To accommodate different search scenarios, the study proposed three search algorithms with a theoretical comparison. Then, field experiments based on the traversal search algorithm showed that the search system based on multi-rotor UAVs could effectively and accurately conduct contour mapping of a region and locate the radioactive source with an error of 0.32 m. The platform and algorithms enable accurate and efficient searching of radioactive sources, providing an innovative demonstration of future environmental risk assessment and management. View Full-Text
Keywords: uncontrolled radioactive sources; source search algorithm; multi-rotor UAV; contour mapping uncontrolled radioactive sources; source search algorithm; multi-rotor UAV; contour mapping
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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, B.; Zhu, Y.; Wang, Z.; Li, C.; Peng, Z.-R.; Ge, L. Use of Multi-Rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Radioactive Source Search. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 728. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10050728

AMA Style

Li B, Zhu Y, Wang Z, Li C, Peng Z-R, Ge L. Use of Multi-Rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Radioactive Source Search. Remote Sensing. 2018; 10(5):728. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10050728

Chicago/Turabian Style

Li, Bai, Yi Zhu, Zhanyong Wang, Chao Li, Zhong-Ren Peng, and Lixin Ge. 2018. "Use of Multi-Rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Radioactive Source Search" Remote Sensing 10, no. 5: 728. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10050728

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