Kym, Susan and John at Viridian Consultants Ltd have designed and developed a 3-D printed Viridiscope™ tool, (shown below, top left), that features a lightweight 0.6kg hand-held unit that incorporates a Nd:YAG (Neodymium-doped Yttrium Aluminium Garnet) laser head attached to a 20 metre long fibre optic cable and connected to the Nd:YAG laser located on the ground. The laser head is mounted within the hollow chamber of the Viridiscope™ tool, and debris sputtered from a surface is transported by suction along a co-axial 20 metre long debris collection pipe to the debris collection box located on the ground, (shown below, top right). The 3-D printed Viridiscope™ tool has been successfully side-sponson mounted and trialled on a WallRover B™ unmanned wall climbing vehicle, (shown below, bottom left), and Sellafield Ltd funded the development of the Viridiscope™ tool. The WallRover B™ is controlled by a game-pad hand controller, (shown below, bottom right) that is attached to the WallRover B™ OCU (Operator Control Unit). Attached co-axially to the 25 metre long power and communications cable, that interconnects the WallRover B™ and its OCU, is the 20 metre long fibre optic Nd:YAG laser cable and the 20 metre long debris collection pipe.
The WallRover B™ platform fitted with the Viridiscope™ payload can be remotely deployed by an operator who can remain safely on the ground, at a safe stand-off distance. The WallRover B™ can then mount and be driven precisely up a vertical structure and at the desired location the operator can activate the side-sponson mounted Viridiscope™ payload and the debris collection box. Photons from the Nd:YAG laser sputter material from the surface it is fired at, and the sputtered debris is sucked down into the debris collection box for post laboratory analysis to sample and ascertain the radio-nuclides that have ingressed into the surface. The unique WallRover B™ platform and Viridiscope™ payload combination is potentially safer, cleaner and faster than methods currently used for elemental characterisation, and radioactive samples can be collected from structures made from diverse materials, including: brick, concrete, plaster, plastic and wood.