Japan’s space agency and nuclear energy authority has announced a joint venture on June 12 to develop a drone to measure the radioactivity in the atmosphere. The fear of radioactive substances in the atmosphere has come up after the nuclear disaster faced by the country last year.
After the major earthquake and the deadly tsunami in the month of March last year, Japan has been forced to invent or improve systems for measuring the radioactive contamination. The earthquake last year had caused the world’s worst nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant.
Till now remote controlled helicopters have been used but are not suitable for remote and mountainous territories as they have to fly low, while it is essential for the operator to see the aircraft. The Japanese Aerospace Agency said that an unmanned aircraft could fly at higher altitudes over potentially contaminated areas which could resolve the issue.
So now plans are being made to develop a 2.6 meter long aircraft with a 4.2 meter wingspan. After the tsunami the radiation from the Fukushima plant was scattered over large areas and spread as far as several hundred kilometers from the power station due to wind and rain. About ten thousands of people were evacuated from their homes and around the plant.