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Technology Factsheet

RadTrax/LARADS

Category: Characterization > Monitors > Radiation Monitors
Reference # : Model No : VS-007

This innovative radiation survey technology is a combined application of the TMR Associates Inc.’s pneumatic operated survey platform with Eberline Service's Laser Assisted Ranging and Data System (LARADS) Radiological Mapping Equipment. TMR Associates provided RadTrax, an automated survey platform, designed to support and transport a wide range of survey instrumentation. The RadTrax is electronically driven through independent track drives. The RadTrax may be operated at speeds ranging from 2 inches/second (10 feet/minute) to 4 inches/second (20 feet/minute), depending on specific requirements of the various instruments. Deck-mounted pneumatic telescoping booms allow sensors to be positioned for overhead measurements, while side-mounted pneumatic cylinders and Zero Max travelers allow for vertical positioning. Dual sensors may also be mounted on the front for horizontal positioning. Optional camera mounts allow for remote viewing. Eberline Service, Inc. provided the LARADS, which consists of an auto-tracking theodolite, RF data modems, a field computer with customized software, and radiological meters. The theodolite or “total station” determines range, azimuth, and elevation of a target. The target for the LARADS is a prism mounted on (or in close proximity to) the radiological detector. The total station relays the coordinates of the target’s position to the system computer at user-set intervals, typically once per second. The system collects the radiological data in a buffer when it has lost lock with the detector, e.g., when the surveyor passes behind an obstruction. Once the lock is reestablished, data are interpolated between two “good” positions and evenly spaced along the vector. The interpolated solutions will be flagged in the stored file for quality assurance purposes. The LARADS technology can be used to provide well-documented surveys of walls, floors, and ceilings of contaminated or potentially contaminated buildings and structures prior to decommissioning or demolition. The system can be configured for performing high- or low-level dose rate surveys as well.

Benefits

(1) Compared to a traditional GPS, LARADS’ positional accuracy and the associated detector velocity provides better precision and can be utilized inside buildings where the GPS signals cannot be received. (2) It is remotely operated,allowing radiological surveys to be conducted from various locations without the need to build scaffolding,minimizing worker's exposure to hazardous conditions, and reducing operator fatigue. (3) It is easy to operate. (4) The operation is dust-free and generates little noise and secondary waste. And (5) Although it may not be used to obtain accurate results in activity level, it is an efficient qualitative survey tool, especially for a large area survey, and be able to provide preliminary detection of hot spots.

Limitations

The primary limitation of this technology is that it may not be used in an extremely confined area, since normally it requires a minimum of 12 feet distance from the total station to the target to provide good tracking data. It should also be noted that the use of other detectors may produce better results than were achieved in this assessment.

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