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Monitoring radiation with Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – training course

A 3-day training course for students, operators, manufacturers, and stakeholders of UAV radiation monitoring

The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and the National Nuclear User Facility’s (NNUF) Hot Robotics facility are proud to announce that registration is now open for a 3-day in-person training course on Uncrewed Aerial Vehicle (UAV) radiation monitoring. The course will be held at the University of Bristol’s UAV testing facility (Bristol, UK) from 15 to 17 May 2024. The training course is being delivered through the European Metrology Network for Radiation Protection (EMN RP) and is funded by the EMPIR SupportBSS project (SNT-w08).

Recent advances in battery, motor, communication and radiation detector technologies have led to a proliferation in the use of UAV’s for monitoring radioactivity in the environment and within industrial facilities. Rotary and fixed-wing UAVs, weighing from hundreds of grams up to hundreds of kilos are now available and are being used to carry multi-sensor payloads for a variety of radiation related applications. This includes surface contamination or dose mapping, hot-spot locating, and radioactive plume tracking. Autonomy is being realised through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is enabling UAVs to re-route on-the-fly, for obstacle avoidance and to improve efficiency and efficacy in delivering mission goals. Government agencies and nuclear facility operators are providing the pull for these developments, while academics, instrument manufacturers, and citizen scientists are providing the push. The fast pace of development has created a need for new and dynamic training opportunities, in particular to ensure measurements made by UAV systems are robust and metrologically traceable.

The training course will bring together UAV radiation monitoring operators, persons responsible for radiation protection and preparedness, academics, metrologists, and students. The course will provide an overview of the technologies, techniques and science underpinning this burgeoning area. The course will feature practical demonstrations of UAV radiation monitoring across all three days (weather dependent).

Topics to be covered:

  • UAV applications (dose mapping, hotspot locators, plume tracking etc).
  • UAV design (hardware, components, communications, software frameworks etc).
  • UAV operation (mapping routines, manual Vs automated control, indoor Vs outdoor).
  • Radiation detectors suitable for UAVs.
  • Calibration of radiation detectors (for radioactivity and dosimetry measurements).
  • Citizen science (with or without UAV).
  • Case studies (e.g. Mapping of contamination at Chernobyl).
  • Nuclear preparedness.
  • Metrology.
  • Compliance with ISO/IEC standards.


Target audience:

Places are limited for this course. Requesting attendance will be subject to review. You will be contacted within 5 working days of your application to confirm your space on the training course. The venue has a limit of ~ 25 participants and confirmation will one on a first-come, first-serve basis. Participation by UAV radiation monitoring operators and post-graduate students is encouraged. International participation, particularly from the European Union is also encouraged.


Lectures, presentations, and case studies will be given by experts in the fields of UAV operation, radiation detection, nuclear preparedness, and metrology. These experts represent universities, national metrology laboratories, instrument manufacturers, and national authorities.

Registration fee:

There is no fee associated with the training course (except for the self-funded social dinner).


Lunch and refreshments are provided.


To follow.


University of Bristol's Hot Robotics facility located 15 minutes outside Bristol - Further details will be provided after registration.


15 to 17 May 2024 (likely to run 09:00 until 16:00 each day)

Social Dinner:

A self-funded social dinner will be arranged at a local restaurant/pub in Bristol city centre on the evening of Thursday 16 May. Participants can indicate in the registration form if they wish to attend the dinner. A separate link will be sent for payment (expected to be around £50).

Accommodation and travel:

The facility is located ~15 min drive from Bristol city centre. Participants will need to make their own travel arrangements. A list of local hotels and bus/taxi services will be distributed following registration.



This training course is being delivered by the European Metrology Network for Radiation Protection (EMN RP) and SupportBSS (SNT-w08) with funding received from the EMPIR programme co-financed by the Participating States and from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

We acknowledge the support of University of Bristol and the University of Bristol’s Hot Robotics facility. We recognise Prof Tom B Scott, Dr Dave Megson-Smith, Tom Bennett and Sofia Leadbetter for their assistance in organising the training course.





For all NPL events we aim to accommodate specific needs and personal circumstances, but are reliant on individuals sharing this information with us. If you have any specific requirements or adjustments to support your attendance (whether in person or virtual), please do let us know by emailing, so that we can discuss how we can best support you. Any information shared will be confidential and deleted after the event.

15 - 17 May

09:00 - 16:00 BST

Training Course

Hot Robotics Facility - Bristol

Attendance request