Automatic optimisation of gamma dose rate sensor networks: The DETECT Optimisation Tool

K.B. Helle, T.O. Müller, Poul Astrup, J.E. Dyve

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Fast delivery of comprehensive information on the radiological situation is essential for decision-making in nuclear emergencies. Most national radiological agencies in Europe employ gamma dose rate sensor networks to monitor radioactive pollution of the atmosphere. Sensor locations were often chosen using regular grids or according to administrative constraints. Nowadays, however, the choice can be based on more realistic risk assessment, as it is possible to simulate potential radioactive plumes. To support sensor planning, we developed the DETECT Optimisation Tool (DOT) within the scope of the EU FP 7 project DETECT. It evaluates the gamma dose rates that a proposed set of sensors might measure in an emergency and uses this information to optimise the sensor locations. The gamma dose rates are taken from a comprehensive library of simulations of atmospheric radioactive plumes from 64 source locations. These simulations cover the whole European Union, so the DOT allows evaluation and optimisation of sensor networks for all EU countries, as well as evaluation of fencing sensors around possible sources. Users can choose from seven cost functions to evaluate the capability of a given monitoring network for early detection of radioactive plumes or for the creation of dose maps. The DOT is implemented as a stand-alone easy-to-use JAVA-based application with a graphical user interface and an R backend. Users can run evaluations and optimisations, and display, store and download the results. The DOT runs on a server and can be accessed via common web browsers; it can also be installed locally. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
Original languageEnglish
JournalComputers & Geosciences
Pages (from-to)158–167
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Sampling design
  • Sensor network
  • Gamma dose rate
  • Plumes
  • Optimisation
  • Interactive

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