Performance of a UAV-borne Directional Gamma Spectrometer

Carleton University (Ottawa, Ontario)


An opportunity exists for a geophysics or physics student to perform their M.Sc. thesis work at the Geological Survey of Canada on studies of the performance of a directional gamma spectrometer on board an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

Building on decades of successful exploration for uranium and other precious ore by aerial survey of natural radioactivity, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has responsibility for aerial radiometric survey for nuclear emergency response (NER). The NRCan NER team will be commissioning an advanced gamma-ray spectrometer to fly on their recently acquired UAV over the years 2016 to 2018.

Equipped with novel directional and mapping technology, the UAV will advance the team’s capability to respond, providing a platform which can enter areas too hazardous for manned vehicles.


The project is suitable for a geophysics or physics student.

  1. A geophysics student would register for an M.Sc. in the Department of Earth Sciences at Carleton University. The student will be co-supervised by Dr. Laurel Sinclair and Dr. Claire Samson. Emphasis will be on survey and mapping with the UAV-borne system and characterization of the performance in flight with applications in prospecting for ore.
  2. A physics student would register for an M.Sc. in Medical Physics in the Department of Physics. The student will be supervised by Dr. Laurel Sinclair. Emphasis will be on image reconstruction methods for data collected during a grid flight pattern.

Terms and Required Assets:

  • Student with an excellent academic standing accepted at Carleton University Earth Sciences or Physics Departments to begin Sept 2016.
  • The ideal candidate has an undergraduate degree in Earth Science, Engineering or Physics and is interested in computational methods, quantitative data analysis and software development.
  • Research Assistantship funding adequate for a student paying domestic tuition fees will be offered.

Interested students should send an e-mail to

Monday, June 13, 2016 in
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