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Using Standard Land Survey Technology to Generate 3-D Radiological Characterization Data

Outdoors we use GPS to capture our position
and our scans, but indoors the GPS signals blocked, so we needed something to do the
same thing inside. So we came up with using the Robotic Total Station to capture our X,
Y, and Z coordinates with the ratemeter and be able to match that and map it out. The equipment is strictly off the shelf. We use a Trimble Robotic
Total Station that you can just buy at a survey store and the Ludlum2221 is just the standard run-of-the-mill
2221 that most health physicists use in this industry. The key was actually getting the
two to communicate together. The software for a GPS you can just purchase from the dealer.
This software we had developed in-house. The two components of the Total Station, the head
unit and the prism, and the head unit sends a pulse to the prism which reflects it back,
and as you move the prism it’s able to track its position. So whatever you attach the prism
to whether it s a floor monitor, radiation detector that you re just using by hand, it’ll
capture that position information, then the head of the unit will then connect to
the laptop for data logging. We take the captured X, Y, Z data, the coordinates, and then we
take the captured count rate and then we combine the two, and we output that on a paper map,
or a computerized map, and therefore, you can see exactly where the contamination is
inside of a building or outside. Since we capture 3-D coordinate for the position, if
you’re scanning a floor that’s fairly 2-D, that’s straightforward, but when you move
into the walls, it s hard to represent a 3-dimensional box in report and print it on paper, so what
we chose to do was fold the walls down and splay the room out so it all becomes represented
as a 2-D image. The main advantage for our customers of being able to see captured inside
data is when you’re reading a report and it says, let’s say, 25 percents of the room is
contaminated, and 75 percent of it s clean, that doesn’t really give you a good picture
because that contamination could be spread throughout the room, or it could be confined
to one area. The customer, whoever reviews this paperwork can now see the map of the
room and look at it and say, Okay, well, now I know exactly where these areas of contamination
are, provided a high-density scan.

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