Monitoring Uranium Storage Facilities

The Mission

The US Department of Energy is responsible for ensuring the future protection of human health and the environment around containment facilities that store uranium waste. Juniper Unmanned helped the client design and develop a program using drone-based remote sensing to generate spatially accurate digital twins of the facilities and to monitor the structural integrity.

"By providing accurate, high-resolution data on site conditions while minimizing risk to field staff, the program supports LM’s greater mission of protecting human health and the environment." - United States Department of Energy

Mission Objectives

The US Department of Energy was looking for ways to improve their management of legacy uranium sites. The objective was to create a program that would allow the structures on the sites to be modeled in detail. The models needed to be spatially accurate so future models could be compared, and changes detected. Because the sites are sensitive critical infrastructure, data security would be extremely important. Additionally, the safety standards on these sites are exceptional, so any procedures would need to take that into account.

The Solution

Juniper Unmanned developed a novel way to fuse a highly dense LiDAR point cloud with high resolution imagery. We established survey standards and monumented the sites, allowing the data to be collected with an absolute accuracy. The team also collaborated closely with the Department of Energy Aviation office to develop standards and procedures for conducting unmanned aircraft flights on site, including establishing geo-fences around the perimeter of the sites. We integrated the LiDAR onto US made Unmanned Aircraft and established a supply chain for future maintenance and scaling requirements. Juniper was asked to perform the continuing data acquisition and data processing. We built training content and developed the internal capacity to support the program at scale.

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