Medusa develops a "RadonDrone."
Radon is a decay product of uranium, a radioactive element found in very small concentrations in the soil. As radon is an inert gas, it escapes from the ground and forms a kind of cloud that remains relatively close to the ground or is carried by the wind.
The radon in the air is both a problem and a blessing. It is a problem because radon seriously interferes with the measurement of uranium in soil, which is widely used, for example, in precision agriculture to map soil properties or in mining to search for ores. The blessing is that radon can be used in atmospheric research, such as studying air currents.
The problem with radon is that it produces almost the same radiation pattern as uranium in the ground. In other words, it isn't easy to separate the signal from radon from the uranium signal. This is particularly challenging for measurements done from a drone since the drone is generally close to the ground.
The objective of this project is to develop a new flying sensor platform consisting of an integration of a drone, a smart radiation meter, and sensors for measuring altitude, air pressure, temperature, and humidity. This requires the development of innovative hardware and new (smart) algorithms for data processing, drone control, and feedback to the operator. The project will run in 2022 and 2023.
This R&D project is financially supported by the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRO), co-funded in the context of the Union's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.