Nuclear and underground environments feature some of the harshest operating conditions for equipment and infrastructure.
Often in these environments robots are needed, operating autonomously or with minimal human intervention. This application area reflects these challenges, focusing on sensors, communications and development of robots and modular robots.
Environmental challenges are of primary concern. In high radiation environments, equipment needs to be radiation hardened. Underground environments are often dusty, humid and have high temperatures or swings in temperature. Use of wireless communications, which would be the norm above ground, are challenging in tunnels and up to ground level. Nuclear environments also bring specific challenges, including underwater storage ponds, exploiting our expertise in underwater information systems.
- Development of sensors for high (radiation) field environments for in and around nuclear sites plus tokamaks/fusion and laser/plasma interactions
- Sensors for nuclear security applications e.g. tracking of nuclear materials in the environment
- Sensors for nuclear decommissioning activities
- Sensors for mining/borehole environments
- Biosensors for underground drones
- Distributed networks of sensors enabling secure real-time monitoring, eg radiation level, air quality, temperature, noise levels – allowing for wider correlation with health statistics
- Autonomous nuclear decommissioning, with safety assurance and security/quantum/optical solutions, and robust mapping/monitoring in nuclear
environments, with micro-robotics, modular robotics, evolutionary systems.
- National Nuclear Lab
- National Physical Laboratory
- Kromek PLC
- Sellafield Sites