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Sensors 2017, 17(2), 306; doi:10.3390/s17020306

Water Plume Temperature Measurements by an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS)

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Alden Research Laboratory, Inc. 2000 S. College Ave Suite 300, Fort Collins, CO 80525, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Felipe Gonzalez Toro
Received: 20 December 2016 / Revised: 24 January 2017 / Accepted: 1 February 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UAV-Based Remote Sensing)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3612 KB, uploaded 7 February 2017]   |  


We report on the development and testing of a proof of principle water temperature measurement system deployed on an unmanned aerial system (UAS), for field measurements of thermal discharges into water. The primary elements of the system include a quad-copter UAS to which has been integrated, for the first time, both a thermal imaging infrared (IR) camera and an immersible probe that can be dipped below the water surface to obtain vertical water temperature profiles. The IR camera is used to take images of the overall water surface to geo-locate the plume, while the immersible probe provides quantitative temperature depth profiles at specific locations. The full system has been tested including the navigation of the UAS, its ability to safely carry the sensor payload, and the performance of both the IR camera and the temperature probe. Finally, the UAS sensor system was successfully deployed in a pilot field study at a coal burning power plant, and obtained images and temperature profiles of the thermal effluent. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermal plume; unmanned aerial system; unmanned aerial vehicle; infrared; infrared imaging; temperature profile thermal plume; unmanned aerial system; unmanned aerial vehicle; infrared; infrared imaging; temperature profile

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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DeMario, A.; Lopez, P.; Plewka, E.; Wix, R.; Xia, H.; Zamora, E.; Gessler, D.; Yalin, A.P. Water Plume Temperature Measurements by an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). Sensors 2017, 17, 306.

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