Japan has pressed into service an unmanned helicopter to measure radiation levels within a three-kilometer radius of the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where detailed studies have not been conducted since the accident last year. (...)

The helicopter covers a one-kilometer square area in two hours, and will be able to measure radiation levels over inaccessible mountains and forests.

The drone flies at an altitude between 30 to 100 meters and has the advantage of accurately determining the locations of the so-called radiation “hot spots.” Radiation data is directly transmitted from the chopper to a personal computer and plotted on a map, color-coded according to radiation levels.

Unmanned Systems Technology

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012