Integration of the Kromek D3S detector and Spot robot for secondary inspections

Lohith Annadevula - University of Massachusetts Lowell
Odera Dim - Brookhaven National Laboratory
Steven Glozek - Brookhaven National Laboratory
Yonggang Cui - Brookhaven National Laboratory
Warren Stern - Brookhaven National Laboratory
Sukesh Aghara - University of Massachusetts Lowell
Inspecting vehicles and containers for the presence of nuclear material is a challenging task for border control and security. When performed manually by inspectors, this task also has an associated risk of exposing the inspectors to unknown radiation. With the advent of agile, easy-to-program, quadruped robots like the Boston Dynamics Spot, automation of secondary inspection can be achieved, which improves efficiency of the inspection process and alleviates the radiation risks to inspectors. The Spot robot comes with its own software development kit (SDK) that allows clients/users to write custom code in the Python programming language to control the robot. Spot also has a payload computer called Spot-CORE, which runs the Ubuntu Linux operating system and allows users to integrate external sensors such as a radiation detector with Spot. In this study, the Kromek D3S detector has been integrated with Spot via the Spot-CORE, allowing Spot to capture gamma spectra and neutron counts for a specified acquisition period. Two custom routines, search and confirmation, have been developed and executed in this specified order. The search routine directs Spot to go around the nearest obstacle, e.g., vehicle and container, in a preset distance and step to collect gamma and neutron gross counts with the D3S detector. The radiation data and the robot location corresponding to each step are stored and fed to the confirmation routine at the end of the search routine. The confirmation routine then navigates Spot to the locations of the highest gamma or neutron counts to perform a long, e.g., one minute, measurement, and gives the operators the signature gamma spectra and neutron counts at the hotspots. The paper will present a detailed description of each routine along with results obtained from preliminary tests in identifying the location and signature of a 137Cs radiation source in a vehicle.