A methodology to monitor airborne PM10 dust particles using a small unmanned aerial vehicle

Alvarado, Miguel, Gonzalez, Felipe, Erskine, Peter, Cliff, David and Heuff, Darlene (2017) A methodology to monitor airborne PM10 dust particles using a small unmanned aerial vehicle. Sensors, 17 2: . doi:10.3390/s17020343

Author Alvarado, Miguel
Gonzalez, Felipe
Erskine, Peter
Cliff, David
Heuff, Darlene
Title A methodology to monitor airborne PM10 dust particles using a small unmanned aerial vehicle
Journal name Sensors   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1424-8220
Publication date 2017-02-14
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3390/s17020343
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 17
Issue 2
Total pages 25
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publisher M D P I AG
Language eng
Abstract Throughout the process of coal extraction from surface mines, gases and particles are emitted in the form of fugitive emissions by activities such as hauling, blasting and transportation. As these emissions are diffuse in nature, estimations based upon emission factors and dispersion/advection equations need to be measured directly from the atmosphere. This paper expands upon previous research undertaken to develop a relative methodology to monitor PM10 dust particles produced by mining activities making use of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). A module sensor using a laser particle counter (OPC-N2 from Alphasense, Great Notley, Essex, UK) was tested. An aerodynamic flow experiment was undertaken to determine the position and length of a sampling probe of the sensing module. Flight tests were conducted in order to demonstrate that the sensor provided data which could be used to calculate the emission rate of a source. Emission rates are a critical variable for further predictive dispersion estimates. First, data collected by the airborne module was verified using a 5.0 m tower in which a TSI DRX 8533 (reference dust monitoring device, TSI, Shoreview, MN, USA) and a duplicate of the module sensor were installed. Second, concentration values collected by the monitoring module attached to the UAV (airborne module) obtaining a percentage error of 1.1%. Finally, emission rates from the source were calculated, with airborne data, obtaining errors as low as 1.2%. These errors are low and indicate that the readings collected with the airborne module are comparable to the TSI DRX and could be used to obtain specific emission factors from fugitive emissions for industrial activities.
Keyword PM10
Air quality monitoring
Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)
Multi-rotor UAV
Optical sensor
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 4 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 17 Feb 2017, 09:39:17 EST by Miguel Alvarado Molina on behalf of Centre For Mined Land Rehabilitation