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Technology Factsheet

Mobile Automated Characterization System

Category: Characterization > Monitors > Multipurpose Detectors
Reference # : OST No 1798 , DOE/EM - 0413 Model No : MACS

The Mobile Automated characterization System (MACS) has been developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Savannah River Technology Center for the U.S. Department of Energy's Robotics Technology Development Program to address this need. MACS are a commercially available, battery-powered, autonomous robot base supplemented by a laser positioning system and a scintillation detector array. MACS can detect alpha and beta contamination, and moves over floors at a speed of one inch per second. MACS was designed to automate the collection, storage and analysis of large, open floor areas, relieving the HP personnel of this portion of the floor characterization task. MACS does not require a dedicated full time operator and can be set up by the normal HP staff to survey the open areas while other techniques are used on the more constrained areas.MACS is designed for unattended operation and has safety and operational monitoring functions which will safely shut the system down if any difficulties are encountered Dimensions of Tech Model (LxWxH): Operator Control Station: 57.25 in X 34.5 in X 45.0 in Battery Charging RackWeight of Tech Model (lb):

Benefits

The improved accuracy and reliability of the system can provide the public with increased confidence that the various radiation surveys are being conducted in a professional manner The rich display capabilities of MACS allow various visual presentation of the surveys results, which can increase the public acceptance of the data The color graphic capability of MACS to show the locations and quantities of contamination is a significant asset. It is much easier to analyze data from a color map than from pages of coordinate survey data, with much less likelihood of missing data from the color map. MACS has the potential to have widespread use in characterization surveys. Due to the nature of the final releases surveys, MACS may be used to supplement manual surveys, but will not be able to replace the need for final verification of release status by manual survey. MACS is ideal for large open areas without obstacles or irregular geometries. MACS can be programmed and allowed to run with minimal operator input, reducing dose to the HP technicians while producing easy-to-read color maps of characterization data. Any large nuclear site can make use of this technology. The technology is applicable for documenting the conditions of large surface areas, primarily for alpha and beta surface contamination. The MACS technology can be applied to routine operational surveys, characterization surveys and free release and site closure surveys. MACS has sufficient battery longevity to allow one full shift of survey capability.

Limitations

Although the color scheme gives a quick and clear view of the location and the relative levels of contamination, the current implementation of the graphical data display limits the number of ranges to 6. An increase in the number of ranges would be significant benefit. It is recommended that MACS increase its color selection capability for appropriate contrast. The system is not recommended for areas of less than a few square meters or surveys with less than a hundred measurements points, since the visualization of the data becomes less useful for small data sets. A current disadvantage to the MACS equipment is that it is not available commercially, except in all its individual components. The unit cost and resultant hourly rate developed herein are almost prohibitive unless a site has a very large area upon which to operate it The major limitation of MACS is in surveying rooms with large number of obstacles, corner-wall boundaries, or areas where complex maps are required. Combining manual surveys with MACS will reduce this problem. Additionally, the computer lockouts must be addressed before MACS is ready for industrial distribution

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