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Open AccessArticle

Autonomous Chemical Vapour Detection by Micro UAV

by Kent Rosser 1,2,*, Karl Pavey 3,†, Nicholas FitzGerald 3,†, Anselm Fatiaki 1,†, Daniel Neumann 3,†, David Carr 2,4,†, Brian Hanlon 4,† and Javaan Chahl 2,4,†
1
Aerospace Division, Defence Science and Technology Group, West Avenue, Edinburgh, South Australia 5111, Australia
2
School of Engineering, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, South Australia 5095, Australia
3
Land Division, Defence Science and Technology Group, 506 Lorimer Street, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne, Victoria 3207, Australia
4
Joint and Operations Analysis Division, Defence Science and Technology Group, 506 Lorimer Street, Fishermans Bend, Melbourne, Victoria 3207, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Gonzalo Pajares Martinsanz, Norman Kerle and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2015, 7(12), 16865-16882; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs71215858
Received: 11 August 2015 / Revised: 29 October 2015 / Accepted: 7 December 2015 / Published: 11 December 2015
The ability to remotely detect and map chemical vapour clouds in open air environments is a topic of significant interest to both defence and civilian communities. In this study, we integrate a prototype miniature colorimetric chemical sensor developed for methyl salicylate (MeS), as a model chemical vapour, into a micro unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and perform flights through a raised MeS vapour cloud. Our results show that that the system is capable of detecting MeS vapours at low ppm concentration in real-time flight and rapidly sending this information to users by on-board telemetry. Further, the results also indicate that the sensor is capable of distinguishing “clean” air from “dirty”, multiple times per flight, allowing us to look towards autonomous cloud mapping and source localization applications. Further development will focus on a broader range of integrated sensors, increased autonomy of detection and improved engineering of the system. View Full-Text
Keywords: vapour; UAV; sensor; airborne; detection; real-time vapour; UAV; sensor; airborne; detection; real-time
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rosser, K.; Pavey, K.; FitzGerald, N.; Fatiaki, A.; Neumann, D.; Carr, D.; Hanlon, B.; Chahl, J. Autonomous Chemical Vapour Detection by Micro UAV. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 16865-16882.

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