skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Autonomous Sampling Platform Development: Radiological Contamination Mapping at SRS

From 1961 to 1964, radioactive elements were released from the Savannah River Site into local bodies of water via cooling water charges from the reactors on site. In 1983, the extent of the radioactive contamination was first studied, and elements such as 137Cs, 90Sr, 238Pu, 241Am, 244Cm, and tritium were found to have seeped from local bodies of water into sediment and the surrounding flora and fauna. The current method of tracking and monitoring radioactive contamination at the SRS is to gather samples and conduct measurements in a laboratory. A cheaper, and safer, method to conduct such measurements would be to automate the process by using an autonomous boat that can travel to locations, conduct measurements, and return home all without human intervention. To introduce this idea, the construction of an autonomous boat prototype was completed to demonstrate the practicality and feasibility of such an idea. The prototype travels to a set of waypoints, stops at each waypoint, and returns when all waypoints have been reached. It does this by employing a simple battery-powered boat with an Arduino controller that steers the boat using a steering algorithm incorporated into a Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) function. A total of three testsmore » were conducted at two different bodies of water; and after working out some hardware problems, the boat drone was able to successfully steer and reach all programmed waypoints. With the prototype complete, the next steps to realizing the final product of the boat drone will include adopting a processing unit with higher-bit architecture, using a bigger boat with a more powerful trolling motor, and incorporating a solar panel for continuous power and round-the-clock performance.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1281774
Report Number(s):
SRNL-STI--2016-00422
TRN: US1601667
DOE Contract Number:
AC09-08SR22470
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; WATER; CESIUM 137; PLUTONIUM 238; STRONTIUM 90; AMERICIUM 241; CURIUM 244; TRITIUM; CONTAMINATION; SAVANNAH RIVER PLANT; MAPPING; SAMPLING; FEASIBILITY STUDIES; COOLING; MONITORING; PERFORMANCE; SEDIMENTS; REACTOR COOLING SYSTEMS; LEAKS; AUTOMATION; BIOSPHERE; ENVIRONMENT; MOTORBOATS boat drone; PID; plant; controller; stability