Gamma Radiation Source Localization for Micro Aerial Vehicles with a Miniature Single-Detector Compton Event Camera

by   Tomas Baca, et al.

A novel miniature system for localization and estimation of compact sources of gamma radiation for Micro Aerial Vehicles is presented in this paper. The system utilizes a single-sensor Compton camera. The sensor is extremely small and weighs only 40 g, which opens the possibility for use on the widely accepted sub-250 g class of drones. The Compton camera uses the MiniPIX TPX3 CdTe event camera to measure Compton scattering products of incoming high-energy gamma photons. The 3D position and the sub-nanosecond time delay of the measured scattering products are used to reconstruct sets of possible directions to the source. An onboard filter fuses the measurements and estimates the position of the radiation source during the flight. The computations are executed in real-time onboard and allow integration of the sensor info into a fully-autonomous system. Moreover, the real-time nature of the estimator potentially allows estimating states of a moving radiation source. The proposed method was validated in a real-world experiment with a Cs137 radiation source. The approach is able to localize a gamma source without the need to estimate the gradient or contours of radiation intensity, which opens possibilities for localizing sources in a cluttered and urban environment.



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