The quick characterisation of the geographic extent of radiological contamination is a key problem in hazard scenarios, such as nuclear terrorism and accidents, for the guarantee of public health. The project FRIENDS (Fleet of Drones for Radiological Inspection, Communication and Rescue) addresses this challenging problem by proposing a fleet of drones to perform this characterization. In particular, we will focus on these challenges:
- real-time mapping of both the scenario and the contamination level of a given area,
- autonomous and cooperative navigation of a fleet of drones to cover this area in an optimal way, in closed-loop with the real-time construction of the contamination map, while maintaining radiation exposure of the drones at a safe level, and wireless data communication among the drones and the ground station.
The advances in the state of the art that we expect to achieve in this project will be validated using real drones along with real (but low level) radiation sources.