Going Where No One Has Gone Before with the Icarus
In Antarctica in the early 1960s, a series of diesel fuel tanks the size of warehouses powered the McMurdo Station. These tanks held enough fuel for one year. They were rendered obsolete by a uranium core the size of a water cooler which would power the same station for 3 years. Since those pioneering days, nuclear power has become a viable alternative to fossil fuel for the masses. It is not without risk. In the 60 years that nuclear power has been in use, the world has seen some catastrophic events. The key to preserving nuclear fuel as an accepted means of power is to identify and correct problems before they become cataclysmic. But how does one inspect something so hot and so radioactive for the purpose of quality control? A special isolation room is used. It is called a "hot cell".

Hot cells are shielded rooms with one meter thick walls, floors, and ceilings. Radioactive elements are loaded into the room and handled by robotic arms. Operators stand outside this room as the levels of radiation inside are deadly. In the last half of the 20th century, radiation-tolerant microscopes and periscopes were used to see inside these rooms for the purpose of inspection. Today, computer-based video technology bridges the gap between man and poison.

The TriTek Icarus gives operators a microscopic view of the radioactive sample in true stereo vision. The radhard microscope utilizes high resolution color camera technology to mimic the stereo vision we are so accustomed to. Full robotic control over microscope position, magnification, and illumination give the operator the ability to be inside the room without being inside the room.

For more information, visit http://hazmatimaging.com

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