DRDO’s Jodhpur Defence Laboratory has been tasked with the execution of the project

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is developing a new remotely operated system to survey radiologically affected areas and collect contaminated samples.

Termed as Automatic Terrain Monitoring and Decontamination System (ATMADS), it will be a lightweight battery-powered autonomous vehicle outfitted with sensors, cameras and mechanical components to lift and store samples.

DRDO’s Defence Laboratory, Jodhpur, which works in the area of nuclear radiation and sensor technologies, has been tasked with the execution of the project, which will be done in collaboration with the industry.

According to DRDO sources, ATMADS is being designed to scan a potentially nuclear contaminated area, identify the source and location of the contamination and place the suspected samples into a radiation-proof container.

The unmanned vehicle will have an onboard navigation system to negotiate the terrain and the required equipment to monitor beta and gamma radiations, which would be relayed back to the control station through radio communication.

ATMADS will be able to operate in a remote-controlled mode, where it will receive commands continually from the control station, as well as in a fully autonomous mode, where it will be pre-programmed to carry out missions.

Artificial intelligence will be employed to carry out the operational tasks in the autonomous modes as well as for data processing and analysis. Pinpointing the source and assessing the extent of contamination is imperative for effective counter measures and decontamination operations, DRDO officials said.