INDEPENDENT NEWS

A Robot Watchdog To Sniff Out Radiation

Published: Mon 31 Mar 2008 10:55 AM
A Robot Watchdog To Sniff Out Radiation
Australian scientists have developed a prototype remote-controlled robotic vehicle to detect radiation, the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, The Hon. Warren Snowdon, announced today.
"This is a significant leap forward for Australia's defence and national security agencies," Mr Snowdon said.
"It will greatly enhance our ability to respond to radioactive incidents."
The concept vehicle, known as RASP, for Remote Advanced Sensor Platform, was developed jointly by the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).
It's small and light and can be operated from distances of up to 350 metres with full control of the robot.
"It could be deployed in almost any area or location, from aircraft to cargo containers," said Mr Snowdon.
"For the first time, we will also be able to provide our national security agencies with the ability to remotely identify the nature of the radioactive sources.
"Emergency officers who detect the presence of radiation with their handheld instruments would be able to send in RASP and quickly discover if it has a half-life of several days or fifty thousand years."
Mid-year scenario trials will be taken at ANSTO. The scenarios will closely emulate a real event involving radioactive material.
ENDS
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