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Water 2018, 10(3), 264; doi:10.3390/w10030264

In Situ Water Quality Measurements Using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) System

Department of Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Mechanization and Business, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 27 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 3 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Management Using Drones and Satellites in Agriculture)
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An unmanned aerial vehicle-assisted water quality measurement system (UAMS) was developed for in situ surface water quality measurement. A custom-built hexacopter was equipped with an open-source electronic sensors platform to measure the temperature, electrical conductivity (EC), dissolved oxygen (DO), and pH of water. Electronic components of the system were coated with a water-resistant film, and the hexacopter was assembled with flotation equipment. The measurements were made at thirteen sampling waypoints within a 1.1 ha agricultural pond. Measurements made by an open-source multiprobe meter (OSMM) attached to the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) were compared to the measurements made by a commercial multiprobe meter (CMM). Percent differences between the OSMM and CMM measurements for DO, EC, pH, and temperature were 2.1 %, 3.43 %, 3.76 %, and <1.0 %, respectively. The collected water quality data was used to interpret the spatial distribution of measurements in the pond. The UAMS successfully made semiautonomous in situ water quality measurements from predetermined waypoints. Water quality maps showed homogeneous distribution of measured constituents across the pond. The concept presented in this paper can be applied to the monitoring of water quality in larger surface waterbodies. View Full-Text
Keywords: water quality; in situ; remote sampling; UAV; integrated sensors water quality; in situ; remote sampling; UAV; integrated sensors

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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Koparan, C.; Koc, A.B.; Privette, C.V.; Sawyer, C.B. In Situ Water Quality Measurements Using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) System. Water 2018, 10, 264.

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