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European System for Improved Radiological Hazard Detection and Identification

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EU-RADION (European System for Improved Radiological Hazard Detection and Identification)

Reporting period: 2020-09-01 to 2022-02-28

The EU-RADION project puts forward the four following objectives:
• High-level objective 1 - To cover selected capability gaps of European first responders and CBRNe practitioners indicated in the ENCIRCLE catalog and IFAFRI study by the development of relevant technologies,
• High-level objective 2 - To enhance situational awareness of first responders/CBRNe practitioners during preparedness and response missions,
• High-level objective 3 - To boost European CBRNe market innovativeness and support its competitiveness,
• High-level objective 4 - To showcase the operational EU-RADION solution to first responders, CBRNe practitioners, and European stakeholders in relevant conditions.

An important asset of the EU-RADION, which falls into the category of societal impact, will be the improvement of citizens’ safety. The EU-RADION will be used to prevent and respond to a potential CBRN threat. As a consequence, the system will help to decrease detrimental effects to human health and/or the number of casualties. It is believed that the development of novel systems for CBRN threat detection supported with relevant training tools will help CBRNe practitioners perform their daily duties more effectively and provide a high detection coverage of the target area during, e.g. mass event. Complex detection systems, such as EU-RADION, will offer a chance for better operation in response mode assisting practitioners at the estimation of contamination source and further hazard prediction.
Up to the point of the first periodic review meeting (M18), the project has managed to achieve significant progress against the objectives set at the proposal stage. It is best presented by the milestones that have already been met (each accomplished well within the schedule).

Thanks to the efforts made within the WP2 – User requirements and scenarios, the consortium has managed to create a set of user requirements, use-case scenarios, and Key Performance Parameters, which are being used as the baseline for the development of the system. By including the potential users of the system in the process of gathering the requirements (i.e. building a Stakeholder Group and organising a stakeholder workshop), the consortium is able to ensure that the developed system will respond to actual needs of the industry’s representatives.

The set of user requirements has been then used as a cornerstone for the design and development of the system architecture as well as for the creation of a set of technical requirements for the system. The achievement of these goals has allowed to create a solid starting point for the development of the system’s hardware and software components. This has already resulted in the development of the first prototypes for some of the components (i.e. the UGV platform or the SIU).

Furthermore, the consortium has already managed to finalise the work on some sub-components of the system as the second iteration of system architecture has brought the final versions of the interfaces and data model for the system. This paves the way for the integration of the prototypes of components, which will result in the first prototype version of the EU-RADION system in the nearest future.
The EU-RADION project aims to provide progress beyond the state of the art in the following ways:
- By combining sensors based on different detection technologies, which would allow mitigating the influence of their technological limitations with the use of advanced data fusion algorithms. The heterogeneous sensor integration unit (SIU) will combine the advantages of multiple sensors. Geiger counter and CZT semiconductor detector will operate simultaneously to provide a wider amount of data for analysis/processing. Both devices will be supported by the hydrogen detector, which could detect spikes in hydrogen concentration. Negative and weak points of a certain technology will be compensated by the use of supporting technologies. The SIU will be developed in several versions: stationary, person-worn and as a UGV (unmanned ground vehicle).
- By developing the dispersion modelling that can handle complex geometry together with the properties that are inherent in the particles, such as density, spatial dimensions as well as static forces. It will enhance the ability to do well-resolved deposition simulations beyond the standard modelling tools used today. This will lead to a better source estimation by application of adjoint dispersion models and the method of regularization, with an adaptation of parameter selection methods not yet used in these types of applications, e.g. Unbiased Predictive Risk Estimation, Generalized Cross-Validation and Discrepancy Principle.
- The EU-RADION swarm will consist of several UGV units equipped with a sensor integration unit. One of these units will be operated manually by a trained operator, while the rest of them will be controlled by a dedicated software component (UGV High-Level Control Tool). This component will send steering commands to the UGVs, which will be based on the current sensor readouts and situational awareness data. The Tool will optimise the deployment of UGVs around the central manually operated asset. Thanks to this approach, the system combines the advantages of manually operated UGV and autonomous operation of the assets. First responders can prioritize deployment zones as well as manually decide which area is the most important to monitor, based on the overall situational awareness picture. On the other hand, a direct data link between supporting UGV swarm and System Computational Tools will be established.
- The project foresees the development of a navigation/positioning component, which can be used as a “black box” building brick on all sensor platforms (UGV, person-worn, stationary) and will be integrated with the EU-RADION system-of-systems. GPS/GNSS modules and 10-DoF electronic components (IMU, magnetometer, air pressure) will be used as the key sensor components. Based on this sensor data, error reduction/tracking/fusion algorithms will be applied in order to reduce errors (e.g. Extended Kalman Filters).
An extensible, integrated system-of-systems of sensors, sensor platforms and higher-level computational tools, which are all connected to a central Situational Awareness and Command Tool will be developed. The Tactical Command Tool will be the main interface at the central level used to display and control all important information. This includes:
• visualization of all technical assets (positions, routes) including their status and collected sensor data (e.g. interpretation by an expert),
• visualization of operationally particularly important information (e.g. alarms) filtered and preprocessed for the intended operational use (e.g. by radiation thresholds),
• visualization additional information derived by the higher-level computational tools (e.g. hazard prediction/source term estimation, advanced tracking) or automatically fetched from other sources (maps, weather),
• visualization and management of other assets (hazard/important/no-go areas, point assets, external units/personnel, etc.) important for sketching a combined operational picture based on user-provided data sources,
• sensor control,
• alarm push-messaging (person-worn SIU).
The Tactical Command Tool will be supplemented by a dedicated UGV (swarm) control tool.