This company is adopting cinematography drones to detect radiation and gas leaks

A drone company best known for its aerial cinematography work has partnered with the U.S. Nuclear Corp to create unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), designed for carrying out radiation detection from the air.

“Before drones came along, you would need to send in people wearing a full radiation-proof suit and carrying a sensor,” Jeff Barnett, FlyCam UAV’s operations manager and lead pilot, told Digital Trends. “Depending on the situation the person is walking into, it’s an incredibly stressful event and potentially dangerous. Our solution keeps people at a safe distance.”

FlyCam UAV has launched two drones: the commercial-grade Cypher 6 hexacopter and the all-weather co-axial NEO octocopter. Both work with the Nuclear Corp’s DroneRad aerial radiation detection system, capable of looking for particles containing alpha, beta, gamma, and neutron radiation. A gas detection option, meanwhile, searches for chlorine, biological particulates, and aerosols including anthrax and nerve gas.

In other words, this is your one stop shop for radiological, chemical, and biological detection missions.

“The data is fed back in real-time through a 900 MHz on-board transmitter,” Barnett continued. “The operator who is reading the threat level can see it live on a laptop. A green line shows that everything is okay, and this changes to yellow or red in the event of danger. It also gives exact readings.” The GPS-tagged data is additionally stored on-board for post-flight downloading.

“Right now, we’re doing a lot of demos,” he said, regarding the rollout of the new drones. “We’ve had a lot of interest from the U.S. Navy. The drones are available for sale, and right now we’re working to get them to the people who need them most.”

While FlyCam UAV continues its work with astonishing aerial cinematography, it seems that the company has discovered a mission that has the potential to change lives in a far more significant way.

“We still love the film and video stuff, but in my opinion this is something that can really do good for the world,” Barnett concluded. “You can save lives with this kind of technology. I don’t think there’s anything more worthwhile we could be doing.”


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