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South African Journal of Science

On-line version ISSN 1996-7489

Abstract

BEZUIDENHOUT, Jacques. Testing and implementation of a transportable and robust radio-element mapping system. S. Afr. j. sci. [online]. 2015, vol.111, n.9-10, pp. 01-07. ISSN 1996-7489.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/SAJS.2015/20140350.

Gamma ray spectroscopy has been successfully applied as a survey tool in the fields of morphology, geology and mineral exploration. Gamma ray surveys are regularly done at ground level, which frequently requires transecting remote and unforgiving environments. Thus a need for the development of a transportable, robust and portable gamma ray detection system was identified. In addition to collecting radiation data, such a system was required to also provide the geographic position of the data and allow for various analyses tools to be utilised in the field. These functions were achieved by integrating a USB-driven scintillation detector with a field tablet and creating software to control acquisition and analyses of radiation data, as well as logging position. The system was tested in different geographical locations under different modes of transport. The instrument was tested by employing several different methods of data analysis in order to extract natural nuclide condensations. The consistency in the obtained data demonstrated the reliability of the instrument in the different environments. The system also successfully replicated previous radio-element survey findings and provided information on several geographical phenomena, including information on the geology, paved road structure and beach sediment characteristics.

Keywords : gamma ray spectroscopy; scintillation detector; in-situ measurements; naturally occurring radionuclides; geographical information systems.

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