Vehicle Remote Isotopic Analysis System (VRIAS)

The ImiTec Vehicle Remote Isotopic Analysis System – VRIAS is an accurate, affordable and versatile radiation detection system for manned and unmanned ground vehicle (UGVs) applications

VRIAS on a Turtle Rover UGV

Real-time location, measurement and mapping of radioactivity with isotope identification

Radiation technology specialists Kromek and ImiTec have joined forces to offer the Vehicle Remote Isotopic Analysis System (VRIAS) which provides ground-based mapping of radioactive contamination. VRIAS delivers metre resolution maps of radiation and, when used on unmanned ground vehicles, can be deployed in higher-dose areas for minimising the risk of operator exposure.
VRIAS was initially developed by ImiTec as a technical solution for Sellafield Ltd., to enable manned vehicles on and off the site to routinely measure radiation levels and monitor for change.
Built initially to fit in the light bar of a police vehicle the VRIAS locates measures and maps radioactivity and the isotopes present in real-time, significantly speeding and improving the efficiency of radiation detection and decision making. VRIAS is comprised of ImiTec’s Remote Isotopic Analysis System TM (RIASTM) mounted in a housing for integration into almost any vehicle and taking its power from the vehicle via a 12V connection.

The VRIAS payload contains either one or two lightweight Kromek gamma spectrometers and positioning devices utilising custom-built software to combine radiation intensity and geolocation data to produce maps of radiation levels and identification of isotopes present. This provides a comprehensive ability to map radiation on road networks and vehicle-accessible site areas.

Early and rapid detection of contamination around sites and on road networks

VRIAS allows routine and repeat monitoring of site areas and road networks to rapidly provide data to highlight anomalous changes in radiation and its spread related to nuclear site incidents or nuclear transport accidents. When deployed for site surveys on unmanned vehicles, because the operator remains at a remote distance, the VRIAS effectively reduces worker exposure to radiation.
Each survey route is saved as a collection of GPS waypoints that allows the same survey to be conducted repeatedly to study any change in the distribution of radioactivity over time.

Real-time data collection and transmission through a secured network

Data is transmitted through a secured network utilising a local radio or mobile phone network to a dedicated base station server. This allows the operators conducting the survey, as well as decision makers remote to the area being monitored, to view and interrogate the results as the survey progresses and enables the near real-time integration and inclusion of the results into the site-wide monitoring and/or command and control systems.

Data is also stored locally by an on-board mini-USB memory stick for subsequent downloading. The VRIAS can be mounted on a client’s own vehicles or UGVs or ImiTec can supply the vehicle if required.
Combining VRIAS with a UGV, facilitates detailed ground radiation surveying for determination of hot-particles or contaminated land areas.

Applications

  • Rapid emergency response monitoring of radiation events, providing real-time data on spread, source and intensity
  • Routine monitoring of nuclear sites and their surroundings throughout the life-cycle from new-build to decommissioning
  • Monitoring radiation in the oil, gas and mining industry
  • Environmental monitoring for radiation hazards
  • Defence and Homeland Security operations
Exemplar VRIAS Mapping and Isotopic identification (Data courtesy of University of Bristol)

VRIAS Benefits

  • Minimise operator risk
  • No operator shielding of micro-gamma spectrometers when used on UGVs
  • Rapid response
  • Rapid data collection with excellent sensitivity
  • Road network coverage
  • Isotopic fingerprinting
  • Pre-programmed autonomous area surveys for UGVs
  • Real-time visualisation of radiation data with map or satellite image underlays.
  • Simple setup: VRIAS unit for use in cars / manned vehicles
  • Combining VRIAS with a UGV, facilitates detailed ground radiation surveying for determination of hot-particles or contaminated land areas.
  • Exemplar VRIAS Mapping and Isotopic identification
  • Data courtesy of
  • University of Bristol
Exemplar VRIAS Mapping and Isotopic identification using an ROV (Data courtesy of University of Bristol)

VRIAS Characteristics

  • Choice of Kromek CsI or CZT micro-gamma spectrometers
  • Choice of mounting options to suit the client’s vehicle (cars and UGVs)
  • One metre mapping resolution
  • Mapping at speeds up to and above 70 mph
  • Counts per second (CPS) and gamma spectrometry spectral data transmitted in real-time
  • All data encrypted using a hybrid scheme (256-bit AES /4096-bit RSA Keys)
  • All data simultaneously recorded and stored on board
  • Bespoke software for processing radiation data in real time
  • Weights: Typical VRIAS weight: <1.5Kg

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