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Advances in Nuclear Radiation Sensing: Enabling 3-D Gamma-Ray Vision

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The enormous advances in sensing and data processing technologies in combination with recent developments in nuclear radiation detection and imaging enable unprecedented and "smarter" ways to detect, map, and visualize nuclear radiation. The recently developed concept of three-dimensional (3-D) Scene-data fusion allows us now to "see" nuclear radiation in three dimensions, in real time, and specific to radionuclides. It is based on a multi-sensor instrument that is able to map a local scene and to fuse the scene data with nuclear radiation data in 3-D while the instrument is freely moving through the scene. This new concept is agnostic of the deployment platform and the specific radiation detection or imaging modality. We have demonstrated this 3-D Scene-data fusion concept in a range of configurations in locations, such as the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan or Chernobyl in Ukraine on unmanned and manned aerial and ground-based platforms. It provides new means in the detection, mapping, and visualization of radiological and nuclear materials relevant for the safe and secure operation of nuclear and radiological facilities or in the response to accidental or intentional releases of radioactive materials where a timely, accurate, and effective assessment is critical. In addition, the ability to visualize nuclear radiation in 3-D and in real time provides new means in the communication with public and facilitates to overcome one of the major public concerns of not being able to "see" nuclear radiation.

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