Concept: Swiss startup Flyability has launched an indoor drone Elios 2 RAD that is equipped with radiation sensors for conducting inspections at nuclear plants. The drones are used to help maintain low radiation levels for workers at the nuclear facility.
Nature of Disruption: The Elios 2 RAD comes equipped with an energy compensated Geiger-Muller detector. There are three sensors attached to the drone that measures dose rates within a range of 3 microsieverts per hour to 10 sieverts per hour. Once the inspection flight is done, engineers use Flyability’s Inspector 3.0 software that maps the radiation along the flight path. It shows the exact spot of dangerous radiation dose level with the facility. The inspection flight can be played back in the software to see dose rate measurements and is displayed on top of video footage synchronously. The drones are quick to deploy and estimate the dose workers would be exposed to along with the identification of hot spots to be avoided by humans. Moreover, drones can also be used to evaluate avoided exposure after an intervention over time by using the drone’s cumulative radiation measurement.
Outlook: The International Atomic Energy Agency estimates that global nuclear power generating capacity is expected to increase from 392 GWe in 2019 to 475 GWe by 2030. The focus is on generating electricity through clean energy sources. While electricity generation, engineers constantly face the threat of radiation exposure. Flyability has introduced a radiation sensing drone that finds out the hotspots of radiation and warns engineers about the amount of radiation they would be exposed to such spots. Moreover, it also allows engineers to collect actionable insights about radiation dose data and help nuclear inspectors collect data remotely. This results in fewer people being exposed to any harmful radiation.