Routescene’s LiDAR technology has been utilised by a UK team on its ten-day mission creating a map of radioactive hotspots in Chernobyl.
Led by Professor Tom Scott of Bristol University, the UK’s National Centre for Nuclear Robotics (NCNR) used a DJI M600 hexacopter with an attached lightweight LidarPod from Routescene.
Data was collected using Routescene’s LidarViewer Pro software, which produced a digital terrain model (DTM), combined with a gamma spectrometer survey.
The drone was used in creating a map of the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, near the city of Pripyat, Ukraine, which was abandoned nearly 34 years ago.
Surveyed sites included Buriakivka, a village abandoned following contamination from the accident, and the Red Forest, woodland adjacent to the reactor.
Results revealed that radiation levels were not even across the area, and while they had dispersed in some places, others remained highly dangerous, with the worst spots having the ability to dose a person with more radiation in a few hours than they would typically receive in a year.
Dr Kieran Wood, senior research associate at the University of Bristol, commented: “The algorithm converts the aerial radiation intensity recorded by a UAV survey into a ground intensity map. This process is heavily affected by the distance between the airborne radiation sensor and the ground/buildings, hence high accuracy LiDAR-based models were essential”.