Radiation Source Localization in GPS-denied Environments using Aerial Robots

This is to share results on radiation source localization in GPS-denied environments using autonomous aerial robots that estimate the nuclear (Cs-137 in the experiments) source location and intensity, while simultaneously planning for informative measurements. Smart selection of measurement points is critical as the robot has to dwell for sufficient time to allow the Poisson statistics to derive a confident measurement. The robot is equipped with CsI(Tl) scintillator with silicon photomultiplier and miniaturized electronics for counting and spectroscopy. The first video is explenatory of our approach while the following is taking place in a more realistic environment: 

Additional details:

* Autopilot: PX4

* Position Controller: Linear Model Predictive Control running on an INTEL NUC (ROS)

* Localization: Visual-Inertial 

* Path Planning: Explicit function to optimize for distribution of measurements

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