Special Issue "Atmospheric Measurements with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Marcelo I. Guzman

Department of Chemistry, University of Kentucky, 505 Rose St., Lexington, KY 40506-0055, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: environmental photochemistry; interfacial oxidations; environmental monitoring; reactions in ice; prebiotic chemistry; photocatalytic CO2 reduction; environmental chemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Atmosphere focuses on the development and implementation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and their integration with sensors for atmospheric measurements on Earth. Articles that combine chemical, physical and meteorological measurements performed in recent field campaigns will be given priority. This includes the development of platform and autonomous systems in laboratories as well as the environmental deployment and operations of such systems. The operation of sensors and remote imaging for weather sensing is of special interest to this issue. While broad in scope, the manuscripts are expected to report the operation of UAS platforms with onboard systems that provide useful atmospheric data. The vision of this Special Issue is to provide a collection of articles to guide future research and motivate measurements that will increase our understanding of Earth’s complex atmosphere.

Dr. Marcelo I. Guzman
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Atmosphere is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • atmospheric Chemistry

  • atmospheric Physics

  • atmospheric Science

  • climate

  • sensors

  • unmanned aerial vehicles

  • weather predictions

Published Papers (10 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-10
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Other

Open AccessArticle The Characteristics and Contributing Factors of Air Pollution in Nanjing: A Case Study Based on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Experiment and Multiple Datasets
Atmosphere 2018, 9(9), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9090343
Received: 11 June 2018 / Revised: 29 August 2018 / Accepted: 31 August 2018 / Published: 2 September 2018
PDF Full-text (7815 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) experiments, multiple datasets from ground-based stations and satellite remote sensing platforms, and backward trajectory models were combined to investigate the characteristics and influential mechanisms of the air pollution episode that occurred in Nanjing during 3–4 December 2017. Before the
[...] Read more.
Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) experiments, multiple datasets from ground-based stations and satellite remote sensing platforms, and backward trajectory models were combined to investigate the characteristics and influential mechanisms of the air pollution episode that occurred in Nanjing during 3–4 December 2017. Before the experiments, the position of the detector mounted on a UAV that was minimally disturbed by the rotation of the rotors was analyzed based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. The combined analysis indicated that the surface meteorological conditions—high relative humidity, low wind speed, and low temperature—were conducive to the accumulation of PM2.5. Strongly intense temperature inversion layers and the low thickness of the atmospheric mixed layer could have resulted in elevated PM2.5 mass concentrations. In the early stage, air pollution was affected by the synoptic circulation of the homogenous pressure field and low wind speeds, and the pollutants mainly originated from emissions from surrounding areas. The aggravated pollution was mainly attributed to the cold front and strong northwesterly winds above 850 hPa, and the pollutants mostly originated from the long-distance transport of emissions with northwesterly winds, mainly from the Beijing‒Tianjin‒Hebei (BTH) region and its surrounding areas. This long-distance transport predominated during this event. The air pollution level and aerosol optical depth (AOD) were positively correlated with respect to their spatial distributions; they could reflect shifts in areas of serious pollution. Pollution was concentrated in Anhui Province when it was alleviated in Nanjing. Polluted dust, polluted continental and smoke aerosols were primarily observed during this process. In particular, polluted dust aerosols accounted for a major part of the transport stage, and existed between the surface and 4 km. Moreover, the average extinction coefficient at lower altitudes (<1 km) was higher for aerosol deposition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Measurements with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS))
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Natural Gas Fugitive Leak Detection Using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle: Localization and Quantification of Emission Rate
Atmosphere 2018, 9(9), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9090333
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 7 July 2018 / Accepted: 16 July 2018 / Published: 23 August 2018
PDF Full-text (4969 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
We describe a set of methods for locating and quantifying natural gas leaks using a small unmanned aerial system equipped with a path-integrated methane sensor. The algorithms are developed as part of a system to enable the continuous monitoring of methane, supported by
[...] Read more.
We describe a set of methods for locating and quantifying natural gas leaks using a small unmanned aerial system equipped with a path-integrated methane sensor. The algorithms are developed as part of a system to enable the continuous monitoring of methane, supported by a series of over 200 methane release trials covering 51 release location and flow rate combinations. The system was found throughout the trials to reliably distinguish between cases with and without a methane release down to 2 standard cubic feet per hour (0.011 g/s). Among several methods evaluated for horizontal localization, the location corresponding to the maximum path-integrated methane reading performed best with a mean absolute error of 1.2 m if the results from several flights are spatially averaged. Additionally, a method of rotating the data around the estimated leak location according to the wind is developed, with the leak magnitude calculated from the average crosswind integrated flux in the region near the source location. The system is initially applied at the well pad scale (100–1000 m2 area). Validation of these methods is presented including tests with unknown leak locations. Sources of error, including GPS uncertainty, meteorological variables, data averaging, and flight pattern coverage, are discussed. The techniques described here are important for surveys of small facilities where the scales for dispersion-based approaches are not readily applicable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Measurements with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS))
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Innovative Strategies for Observations in the Arctic Atmospheric Boundary Layer (ISOBAR)—The Hailuoto 2017 Campaign
Atmosphere 2018, 9(7), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9070268
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 30 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 July 2018 / Published: 16 July 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (14528 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The aim of the research project “Innovative Strategies for Observations in the Arctic Atmospheric Boundary Layer (ISOBAR)” is to substantially increase the understanding of the stable atmospheric boundary layer (SBL) through a combination of well-established and innovative observation methods as well as by
[...] Read more.
The aim of the research project “Innovative Strategies for Observations in the Arctic Atmospheric Boundary Layer (ISOBAR)” is to substantially increase the understanding of the stable atmospheric boundary layer (SBL) through a combination of well-established and innovative observation methods as well as by models of different complexity. During three weeks in February 2017, a first field campaign was carried out over the sea ice of the Bothnian Bay in the vicinity of the Finnish island of Hailuoto. Observations were based on ground-based eddy-covariance (EC), automatic weather stations (AWS) and remote-sensing instrumentation as well as more than 150 flight missions by several different Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) during mostly stable and very stable boundary layer conditions. The structure of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) and above could be resolved at a very high vertical resolution, especially close to the ground, by combining surface-based measurements with UAV observations, i.e., multicopter and fixed-wing profiles up to 200 m agl and 1800 m agl, respectively. Repeated multicopter profiles provided detailed information on the evolution of the SBL, in addition to the continuous SODAR and LIDAR wind measurements. The paper describes the campaign and the potential of the collected data set for future SBL research and focuses on both the UAV operations and the benefits of complementing established measurement methods by UAV measurements to enable SBL observations at an unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Measurements with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS))
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Considerations for Atmospheric Measurements with Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Atmosphere 2018, 9(7), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9070252
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 15 June 2018 / Accepted: 27 June 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (12841 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper discusses results of the CLOUD-MAP (Collaboration Leading Operational UAS Development for Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics) project dedicated to developing, fielding, and evaluating integrated small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) for enhanced atmospheric physics measurements. The project team includes atmospheric scientists, meteorologists, engineers,
[...] Read more.
This paper discusses results of the CLOUD-MAP (Collaboration Leading Operational UAS Development for Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics) project dedicated to developing, fielding, and evaluating integrated small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) for enhanced atmospheric physics measurements. The project team includes atmospheric scientists, meteorologists, engineers, computer scientists, geographers, and chemists necessary to evaluate the needs and develop the advanced sensing and imaging, robust autonomous navigation, enhanced data communication, and data management capabilities required to use sUAS in atmospheric physics. Annual integrated evaluation of the systems in coordinated field tests are being used to validate sensor performance while integrated into various sUAS platforms. This paper focuses on aspects related to atmospheric sampling of thermodynamic parameters with sUAS, specifically sensor integration and calibration/validation, particularly as it relates to boundary layer profiling. Validation of sensor output is performed by comparing measurements with known values, including instrumented towers, radiosondes, and other validated sUAS platforms. Experiments to determine the impact of sensor location and vehicle operation have been performed, with sensor aspiration a major factor. Measurements are robust provided that instrument packages are properly mounted in locations that provide adequate air flow and proper solar shielding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Measurements with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS))
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle New Setup of the UAS ALADINA for Measuring Boundary Layer Properties, Atmospheric Particles and Solar Radiation
Atmosphere 2018, 9(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9010028
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 13 January 2018 / Accepted: 14 January 2018 / Published: 17 January 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3728 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
The unmanned research aircraft ALADINA (Application of Light-weight Aircraft for Detecting in situ Aerosols) has been established as an important tool for boundary layer research. For simplified integration of additional sensor payload, a flexible and reliable data acquisition system was developed at the
[...] Read more.
The unmanned research aircraft ALADINA (Application of Light-weight Aircraft for Detecting in situ Aerosols) has been established as an important tool for boundary layer research. For simplified integration of additional sensor payload, a flexible and reliable data acquisition system was developed at the Institute of Flight Guidance, Technische Universität (TU) Braunschweig. The instrumentation consists of sensors for temperature, humidity, three-dimensional wind vector, position, black carbon, irradiance and atmospheric particles in the diameter range of ultra-fine particles up to the accumulation mode. The modular concept allows for straightforward integration and exchange of sensors. So far, more than 200 measurement flights have been performed with the robustly-engineered system ALADINA at different locations. The obtained datasets are unique in the field of atmospheric boundary layer research. In this study, a new data processing method for deriving parameters with fast resolution and to provide reliable accuracies is presented. Based on tests in the field and in the laboratory, the limitations and verifiability of integrated sensors are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Measurements with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS))
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Data Analysis of the TK-1G Sounding Rocket Installed with a Satellite Navigation System
Atmosphere 2017, 8(10), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8100199
Received: 13 July 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 7 October 2017 / Published: 11 October 2017
PDF Full-text (5243 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article gives an in-depth analysis of the experimental data of the TK-1G sounding rocket installed with the satellite navigation system. It turns out that the data acquisition rate of the rocket sonde is high, making the collection of complete trajectory and meteorological
[...] Read more.
This article gives an in-depth analysis of the experimental data of the TK-1G sounding rocket installed with the satellite navigation system. It turns out that the data acquisition rate of the rocket sonde is high, making the collection of complete trajectory and meteorological data possible. By comparing the rocket sonde measurements with those obtained by virtue of other methods, we find that the rocket sonde can be relatively precise in measuring atmospheric parameters within the scope of 20–60 km above the ground. This establishes the fact that the TK-1G sounding rocket system is effective in detecting near-space atmospheric environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Measurements with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS))
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Development of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for the Measurement of Turbulence in the Atmospheric Boundary Layer
Atmosphere 2017, 8(10), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8100195
Received: 8 August 2017 / Revised: 27 September 2017 / Accepted: 27 September 2017 / Published: 4 October 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (10426 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper describes the components and usage of an unmanned aerial vehicle developed for measuring turbulence in the atmospheric boundary layer. A method of computing the time-dependent wind speed from a moving velocity sensor data is provided. The physical system built to implement
[...] Read more.
This paper describes the components and usage of an unmanned aerial vehicle developed for measuring turbulence in the atmospheric boundary layer. A method of computing the time-dependent wind speed from a moving velocity sensor data is provided. The physical system built to implement this method using a five-hole probe velocity sensor is described along with the approach used to combine data from the different on-board sensors to allow for extraction of the wind speed as a function of time and position. The approach is demonstrated using data from three flights of two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) measuring the lower atmospheric boundary layer during transition from a stable to convective state. Several quantities are presented and show the potential for extracting a range of atmospheric boundary layer statistics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Measurements with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS))
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Vertical Sampling Scales for Atmospheric Boundary Layer Measurements from Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)
Atmosphere 2017, 8(9), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8090176
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 29 August 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 17 September 2017
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (4061 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The lowest portion of the Earth’s atmosphere, known as the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL), plays an important role in the formation of weather events. Simple meteorological measurements collected from within the ABL, such as temperature, pressure, humidity, and wind velocity, are key to
[...] Read more.
The lowest portion of the Earth’s atmosphere, known as the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL), plays an important role in the formation of weather events. Simple meteorological measurements collected from within the ABL, such as temperature, pressure, humidity, and wind velocity, are key to understanding the exchange of energy within this region, but conventional surveillance techniques such as towers, radar, weather balloons, and satellites do not provide adequate spatial and/or temporal coverage for monitoring weather events. Small unmanned aircraft, or aerial, systems (sUAS) provide a versatile, dynamic platform for atmospheric sensing that can provide higher spatio-temporal sampling frequencies than available through most satellite sensing methods. They are also able to sense portions of the atmosphere that cannot be measured from ground-based radar, weather stations, or weather balloons and have the potential to fill gaps in atmospheric sampling. However, research on the vertical sampling scales for collecting atmospheric measurements from sUAS and the variabilities of these scales across atmospheric phenomena (e.g., temperature and humidity) is needed. The objective of this study is to use variogram analysis, a common geostatistical technique, to determine optimal spatial sampling scales for two atmospheric variables (temperature and relative humidity) captured from sUAS. Results show that vertical sampling scales of approximately 3 m for temperature and 1.5–2 m for relative humidity were sufficient to capture the spatial structure of these phenomena under the conditions tested. Future work is needed to model these scales across the entire ABL as well as under variable conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Measurements with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS))
Figures

Figure 1

Other

Jump to: Research

Open AccessCorrection Correction: Bärfuss et al. New Setup of the UAS ALADINA for Measuring Boundary Layer Properties, Atmospheric Particles and Solar Radiation. Atmosphere, 2018, 9, 28
Atmosphere 2018, 9(8), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9080306
Received: 1 August 2018 / Accepted: 4 August 2018 / Published: 7 August 2018
PDF Full-text (153 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The authors would like to correct the published article [1] concerning acknowledgments as follows[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Measurements with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS))
Open AccessPerspective Unmanned Aerial Systems for Monitoring Trace Tropospheric Gases
Atmosphere 2017, 8(10), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8100206
Received: 6 October 2017 / Revised: 6 October 2017 / Accepted: 21 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2438 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) has changed the composition of the atmosphere during the Anthropocene. Accurately documenting the sources and magnitude of GHGs emission is an important undertaking for discriminating the contributions of different processes to radiative forcing. Currently there is no
[...] Read more.
The emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) has changed the composition of the atmosphere during the Anthropocene. Accurately documenting the sources and magnitude of GHGs emission is an important undertaking for discriminating the contributions of different processes to radiative forcing. Currently there is no mobile platform that is able to quantify trace gases at altitudes <100 m above ground level that can achieve spatiotemporal resolution on the order of meters and seconds. Unmanned aerial systems (UASs) can be deployed on-site in minutes and can support the payloads necessary to quantify trace gases. Therefore, current efforts combine the use of UASs available on the civilian market with inexpensively designed analytical systems for monitoring atmospheric trace gases. In this context, this perspective introduces the most relevant classes of UASs available and evaluates their suitability to operate three kinds of detectors for atmospheric trace gases. The three subsets of UASs discussed are: (1) micro aerial vehicles (MAVs); (2) vertical take-off and landing (VTOL); and, (3) low-altitude short endurance (LASE) systems. The trace gas detectors evaluated are first the vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL), which is an infrared laser-absorption technique; second two types of metal-oxide semiconductor sensors; and, third a modified catalytic type sensor. UASs with wingspans under 3 m that can carry up to 5 kg a few hundred meters high for at least 30 min provide the best cost and convenience compromise for sensors deployment. Future efforts should be focused on the calibration and validation of lightweight analytical systems mounted on UASs for quantifying trace atmospheric gases. In conclusion, UASs offer new and exciting opportunities to study atmospheric composition and its effect on weather patterns and climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Measurements with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS))
Figures

Figure 1

Back to Top