Mobile radiation detection

GeoExplorer S.r.l. offers on demand and worldwide tailored consulting, services and strategic technology for radioactivity surveys to be performed by means of airborne (helicopters, fixed-wing aircrafts, autogyros, aerial drones, tethered balloons, etc.), ground (cars, land drones, ATVs, trucks, etc.) and waterborne (boats, water drones, etc.) platforms. The scalable and modular design of our detectors (NaI, LaBr3, CeBr3, plastic, Geiger Müller or CTZ) allows for an easy plug-and-play integration with vehicles already at your disposal. Moreover, the possibility of accommodating for different detectors positioning allows for optimizing the detection geometries according to the specific application. The potential integration with other sensors (e.g. visible-spectrum, hyperspectral and thermographic cameras) is strategic in the perspective of enhancing and complementing the radiometric information and of pursuing a multiparametric approach through correlation analysis. During a survey our detectors can be controlled by the operator in real-time locally or remotely thanks to a GPRS/LTE connection. Collected data can then be exported to a GIS platform or other mapping development environments.

Mobile radiation detection is an effective radiometric mapping tool for geological, environmental and homeland security investigations. Thanks to the diversified fields of view of the detectors mounted on different vehicles, the spatial resolution of the survey can be tailored on your specific needs. Mobile radiation detectors measure the γ emissions generated in the radioactive decay chains of natural radioisotopes (238U, 232Th, and 40K) dwelling in the first 30 cm of soil and in outcropping rocks, as well as the γ radiation emitted in the decays of artificial radioisotopes (e.g. 131I, 137Cs and 60Co) present in medical and industrial wastes and dispersed in the environment due to radiological contaminations. The purpose of these radiometric surveys is to determine the specific activity (in Bq/kg) of natural and artificial radioelements at ground level. These measurements are affected by different environmental and experimental conditions (e.g. morphology of the investigated area, height of the sensor above ground, speed of the vehicle, atmospheric radon, vehicle background radiation, atmospheric pressure and relative humidity) which can bias the specific activity assessment. Our consolidated expertise in detector calibration and advanced analysis techniques guarantees you a reliable processing of the data starting from the raw acquisitions to the final conversion to ground radioelement concentrations.

Our main services include:

  • geophysical consulting services, preliminary inspection of the target area and geophysical survey design;
  • realization of ground, marine and airborne geophysical surveys by using different mobile platforms;
  • spectral anomaly detection, data interpretation and visualization after data analysis by using full spectral (e.g. NASVD, FSA-NNLS, PCA) methods, compliant with the IAEA standards on detector calibration, data collection and processing;
  • monitoring of natural radioelements (238U, 232Th, and 40K) supported by geological mapping with the aim of identifying distinctive lithological characteristics;
  • search for uranium mines through direct identification of mineralized veins and boulders;
  • airborne γ radiation surveys for the radiometric characterization of abandoned uranium mines;
  • monitoring of natural radioelements (238U, 232Th, and 40K) supported by geological mapping with the aim of locating intrusion-related mineral deposits and exploring for gold and mineral sands reservoirs;
  • location of porphyry environments for geothermal exploration through the identification of potassium alteration zones;
  • mineral exploration of rare earth elements associated with thorium enrichments;
  • hydrocarbon exploration by studying potassic/uranium alteration;
  • contamination mapping and detection of radioactive wastes (eg. 131I, 137Cs and 60Co);
  • geophysics detailed reports on the survey area, instrument checks and calibrations, quality control and data processing techniques;
  • production of thematic maps of the distribution of natural (238U and 232Th chains, and 40K) radionuclides with uncertainties estimation;
  • production of thematic maps of the outdoor effective dose rate (in μSv/yr) from natural and artificial radionuclides measured in airborne surveys;
  • γ and β spectroscopy measurements for monitoring artificial (137Cs, 134Cs, 131I, 60Co, 90Sr) and natural (238U and 232Th chains, and 40K) radionuclides in poorly accessible areas by means of land drones;
  • radioactive plume sampling for homeland security through the detection of particles emitting α, β and γ radiation by means of detectors mounted on aerial drones;
  • blind detection of orphan sources (e.g. 137Cs, 134Cs, 131I, 60Co, 90Sr) through γ and β radiation measurements performed with detectors mounted on aerial drones;
  • inspections of ports, harbours and transportation hubs, and border controls through γ and β radiation measurements performed with detectors mounted on aerial and water drones;
  • background radiation surveys and mapping of specific areas (e.g. landfills, scrap yards, housing developments, construction sites, nuclear power plants, stockpiles) by using γ airborne and carborne detectors;
  • radiometric spectral analysis and geostatistical modelling by using commercial software (e.g. Praga, Geosoft, ArcGIS);
  • aerial drones strip surveys of pipelines for detection of NORMs produced by oil and gas industries;
  • multisensor geophysical surveys by using airborne platforms transporting γ-ray spectrometers and visible-spectrum, hyperspectral and thermographic cameras;
  • multiparametric data analysis and correlations;
  • remote detection of maliciously introduced radioactive sources in vehicles and buildings through aerial, land and water drones aimed at avoiding the exposure of the operator to ionizing radiation;
  • emergency response after nuclear events with detection of α, β and γ radiation together with hazard assessment;
  • automatic radioactivity surveys in dangerous contaminated areas performed by means of unmanned aerial or ground robotic vehicles;
  • simulation of detectors response for different configurations, environmental conditions and transporting vehicles by using Monte Carlo methods;
  • modelling of radionuclides diffusion in space and time, together with their transfer processes, in the event of dispersion of NORMs in the environment (e.g. accumulated in coal combustion residuals, red muds).


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