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Title: sUAS Support for Mars 2020

Abstract

The release of airborne radioactive material presents a health risk hazard to many individuals, including emergency responders and the public. Characterizing the unknown radioactive dangers produced during such incidents is essential. An advantage to utilizing unmanned aerial systems in this effort is the reduction of risk to personnel otherwise tasked with characterization, as well as more quickly obtaining data points during cloud immersion. By pairing a continuous air monitor (CAM) and detector with a drone, quantification of unknown material in the plume can be determined, and thus the extent of dose to people in the area can be estimated. A small, low-flow air sampler with a Geiger-Mueller counter may be characterized using experimental measurements of point sources representing a cloud of material and modelled using the Monte Carlo N-Particle Transport Code (MCNP), a software package for simulating nuclear processes, to find the usefulness and advantages of the system for detection of nuclides of concern in various nuclear plume scenarios. The flying time of small-unmanned aircraft systems (sUASs) is limited; thus, the minimum detectable activity and concentration rates possible must be determined over the system’s window of operation. While the activity concentrations corresponding to external and internal doses of concern canmore » be detected with certainty for 90Sr and 137Cs in a plume, those corresponding to 238Pu are more difficult to detect. The central principle of employing the sUAS is that the cockpit does not have an operator onboard the aircraft; therefore, control of the aircraft must take place by other means. With a sUAS, command and control can be separated into three distinct methods: (1) ground control or remote piloting, (2) semi-autonomous control, and (3) autonomous control. The isotope 238Pu is used in the space industry, providing long-lived heat generation for fuel in outer space (NASA 2014). Due to the inherent risks with rocket launches to get objects into space, monitoring for release of these hazardous substances is a major undertaking. The current means is through employment of environmental CAMs. It is conceivable, however, that drone monitoring for release of 238Pu in the event of a space launch mishap would give a greater chance of detection of plutonium particulate, because the particulate’s diffusion in air upon settling to the ground would make the probability of collecting a particle on a filter in a CAM very low.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];
  1. Nevada National Security Site, Mission Support and Test Services LLC
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Nevada National Security Site/Mission Support and Test Services LLC; Las Vegas, NV (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Office of Emergency Operations (NA-40)
OSTI Identifier:
1560066
Report Number(s):
DOE/NV/03624-0093
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-NA0003624
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; 47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; Mars 2020 Radiological Contingency Planning, continuous air monitor, CAM, small unmanned aircraft system, sUAS, isotopes, 137Cs, 90Sr, 238Pu, drone, Monte Carlo N-Particle Transport Code, MCNP

Citation Formats

Guss, Paul, and Pfannenstein, Adam. sUAS Support for Mars 2020. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1560066.
Guss, Paul, & Pfannenstein, Adam. sUAS Support for Mars 2020. United States. doi:10.2172/1560066.
Guss, Paul, and Pfannenstein, Adam. Tue . "sUAS Support for Mars 2020". United States. doi:10.2172/1560066. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1560066.
@article{osti_1560066,
title = {sUAS Support for Mars 2020},
author = {Guss, Paul and Pfannenstein, Adam},
abstractNote = {The release of airborne radioactive material presents a health risk hazard to many individuals, including emergency responders and the public. Characterizing the unknown radioactive dangers produced during such incidents is essential. An advantage to utilizing unmanned aerial systems in this effort is the reduction of risk to personnel otherwise tasked with characterization, as well as more quickly obtaining data points during cloud immersion. By pairing a continuous air monitor (CAM) and detector with a drone, quantification of unknown material in the plume can be determined, and thus the extent of dose to people in the area can be estimated. A small, low-flow air sampler with a Geiger-Mueller counter may be characterized using experimental measurements of point sources representing a cloud of material and modelled using the Monte Carlo N-Particle Transport Code (MCNP), a software package for simulating nuclear processes, to find the usefulness and advantages of the system for detection of nuclides of concern in various nuclear plume scenarios. The flying time of small-unmanned aircraft systems (sUASs) is limited; thus, the minimum detectable activity and concentration rates possible must be determined over the system’s window of operation. While the activity concentrations corresponding to external and internal doses of concern can be detected with certainty for 90Sr and 137Cs in a plume, those corresponding to 238Pu are more difficult to detect. The central principle of employing the sUAS is that the cockpit does not have an operator onboard the aircraft; therefore, control of the aircraft must take place by other means. With a sUAS, command and control can be separated into three distinct methods: (1) ground control or remote piloting, (2) semi-autonomous control, and (3) autonomous control. The isotope 238Pu is used in the space industry, providing long-lived heat generation for fuel in outer space (NASA 2014). Due to the inherent risks with rocket launches to get objects into space, monitoring for release of these hazardous substances is a major undertaking. The current means is through employment of environmental CAMs. It is conceivable, however, that drone monitoring for release of 238Pu in the event of a space launch mishap would give a greater chance of detection of plutonium particulate, because the particulate’s diffusion in air upon settling to the ground would make the probability of collecting a particle on a filter in a CAM very low.},
doi = {10.2172/1560066},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {3}
}