SNIFFER: An aerial platform for the plume phase of a nuclear emergency
Technology and Health Department, Istituto Superiore di Sanità Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome Italy
* Present address: ENEA, Centro Ricerche Bologna, Laboratori di Montecuccolino, Via Dei Colli 16, 40136 Bologna, Italy
† E-mail: email@example.com
When a nuclear or radiological accident results in a release of a radioactive plume, AGS (Aerial Gamma Spectrometry) systems used in many countries, equipped with passive detectors, can help in giving quantitative assessment on the radiological situation (land surface contamination level) only when the air contamination due to the passage of the travelling plume has become negligible. To overcome this limitation, the Italian Institute of Health has developed and implemented a multi purpose air sampling system based on a fixed wing aircraft, for time-effective, large areas radiological surveillance (to face radiological emergency and to support homeland security). A fixed wing aircraft (Sky Arrow 650) with the front part of the fuselage properly adapted to house the detection equipment has been equipped with a compact air sampling line where the isokinetic sampling is dynamically maintained. Aerosol is collected on a Teflon® filter positioned along the line and hosted on a rotating 4-filters disk. A complex of detectors allows radionuclide identification in the collected aerosol samples. A correlated analysis of these two detectors data allows a quantitative measurement of air as well as ground surface concentration of gamma emitting radioisotopes. Environmental sensors and a GPS receiver support the characterization of the sampling conditions and the temporal and geolocation of the acquired data. Acquisition and control system based on compact electronics and real time software that operate the sampling line actuators, guarantee the dynamical isokinetic condition, and acquire the detectors and sensor data. The system is also equipped with other sampling lines to provide information on the concentration of other chemical pollutants. Operative flights have been carried out in the last years, and performances and results are presented.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences - SIF 2012