Elios Drone Tested to 800 R/H of Radiation
Elios has been used in several case scenarios, including inspecting basements of reactors for leakages, and inspections of tanks used in primary cooling circuits of nuclear power plant in Europe.
Flyability is currently exploring alternative applications including nuclear asset decommissioning, and used nuclear fuel storage management as a result of improved visual access to otherwise difficult-to-reach storage areas.
Exelon PowerLabs coordinated the testing of the Elios at one of its own nuclear sites which regularly tests equipment for use in nuclear plants.
"We are helping to drive innovation and the use of new technologies at nuclear energy facilities," says Colbey Ryan, business development manager, Exelon PowerLabs. "By using drones and other forms of advanced technologies, nuclear plants can operate more efficiently, reliably and safely."
The test consisted of incremental increases in radiation exposure whilst Elios was in operation. During the final test, the optical camera and radio control of the Elios performed as normal under exposed to radiation for a duration of 10 minutes at a rate of 800 Rem/Hour.
Following the radiation exposure sequences, two functional checks consisting of disarming (stop) and arming (start) the aircraft were performed to see if the unit remained fully functional after such high dosages. The cumulative test sequences exposed the Elios craft to more than 180 Rem (1.8 Sv) which is more than 90 times the annual dose limit for a single person working at a nuclear plant in the United States and France.