Development and integration of a solar powered unmanned aerial vehicle and a wireless sensor network to monitor greenhouse gases

Malaver Rojas, Jairo Alexander, Motta, Nunzio, Corke, Peter, & Gonzalez, Luis F. (2015) Development and integration of a solar powered unmanned aerial vehicle and a wireless sensor network to monitor greenhouse gases. Sensors, 15(2), pp. 4072-4096.

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Measuring gases for environmental monitoring is a demanding task that requires long periods of observation and large numbers of sensors. Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) currently represent the best alternative to monitor large, remote, and difficult access areas, as these technologies have the possibility of carrying specialized gas sensing systems. This paper presents the development and integration of a WSN and an UAV powered by solar energy in order to enhance their functionality and broader their applications. A gas sensing system implementing nanostructured metal oxide (MOX) and non-dispersive infrared sensors was developed to measure concentrations of CH4 and CO2. Laboratory, bench and field testing results demonstrate the capability of UAV to capture, analyze and geo-locate a gas sample during flight operations. The field testing integrated ground sensor nodes and the UAV to measure CO2 concentration at ground and low aerial altitudes, simultaneously. Data collected during the mission was transmitted in real time to a central node for analysis and 3D mapping of the target gas. The results highlights the accomplishment of the first flight mission of a solar powered UAV equipped with a CO2 sensing system integrated with a WSN. The system provides an effective 3D monitoring and can be used in a wide range of environmental applications such as agriculture, bushfires, mining studies, zoology and botanical studies using a ubiquitous low cost technology.

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19 citations in Scopus
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15 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 81977
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Air pollution monitoring, Environmental monitoring, Gas sensors, Nanostructured metal oxide sensors, Solar energy, WSN, UAV, Greenhouse gases
DOI: 10.3390/s150204072
ISSN: 1424-8220
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation
Current > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Robotic Vision
Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Schools > School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 MDPI journal
Deposited On: 23 Feb 2015 23:55
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2015 22:10

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