The RaDron project aims to detect, identify and locate sources of radiation in the environment. It combines the unique technologies of three world class Czech teams: ADVACAM Cameras with its smart detectors, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the Czech Technical University in Prague with its autonomous drones, and the Czech Metrology Institute.
This summer, we have experimentally verified the concept of autonomous searching for the radiation source. The experiments were performed in cooperation with the National Institute for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Protection. The autonomous searching works as follows: the drone starts with systematic mapping of the area of interest following the predefined trajectory; when enough data is detected by the Compton camera (MiniPIX TPX3 with 2 mm thick CdTe sensor) a hypothesis of the radiation source position is calculated in 3D; the drone can flies directly towards the source using constantly incoming data to refine the source position. We believe that this approach allows us to localize the radionuclide sources or radiation hotspots much faster.