IAEA promotes hexacopter drone to measure radiation levels around Fukushima

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Levels of contamination in and around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are continuing to rise since the March 11th nuclear disaster.  In the town of Marumori, officials measured 10 fallen cedar tree quills; the average cesium level was 26,684 becquerels per kilogram as of June 2012, but in 2013 measurements recorded some 42,759 becquerels per kilogram in fallen quills from the same area.

The International Atomic Agency revealed a new six-engine “hexacopter” drone this week, which is hoped will be used to monitor radiation levels around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in areas too dangerous for humans to enter.

The drone carries several radiation meters and a built-in camera.  It is also capable of autonomous flights if data about the topography and buildings is pre-programmed in.

Currently, officials are using an unmanned helicopter designed by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency to monitor radiation levels above evacuation zones.

IAEA officials said they hope the aircraft will be available in two years after test flights are completed.

Source: The Japan Times

Source: NHK

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