- publication of the so-called standard scenarios for selected flights in European airspace —they contain the requirements and conditions of flights, which will also apply to UAVs that measure chemicals in range and out of sight,
- implementation by the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency of the PansaUTM drone traffic coordination system in airport controlled zones—thanks to this, operators can quickly check flight possibilities in a given area, digitally submit a flight plan, and obtain a permit to fly, they are also visible to other airspace users, which improves safety ,
- UAVs testing for the monitoring of refining installations at PKN Orlen in Płock ,
- large-scale use of UAVs equipped with sensors to fight COVID-19 in industrial and urban areas .
2. Air Monitoring in Industrial Areas
2.1. Legal Requirements
- Directive 2008/50/EU on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe (which includes elements such as for example new air quality objectives for PM2.5 (fine particles) including the limit value and exposure-related objectives, the possibility to discount natural sources of pollution when assessing compliance against limit values, the possibility for time extensions of 3 years (PM10) or up to 5 years (NO2, benzene) for complying with limit values),
- Directive 2004/107/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council relating to arsenic, cadmium, mercury, nickel, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in ambient air (Fourth Daughter Directive),
- Directive 2015/1480/EC of 28 August 2015 amending several annexes to Directives 2004/107/EC and 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the rules concerning reference methods, data validation, and location of sampling points for the assessment of ambient air quality,
- Directive 2000/69/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council relating to limit values for benzene and carbon monoxide in ambient air (Second Daughter Directive)—repealed by Directive 2008/50/EC .
- threshold limit value (TLV)—the weighted average value of concentration, the impact of which on an employee during the 8-h daily and average weekly working time, for the period of his professional activity, should not cause negative changes in health (e.g., ammonia: 14; arsenic: 0.01; molybdenum and its compounds: 4; benzo(a)pyrene: 0.002; hydrogen chloride: 5; phenol: 7.8; crystalline silica: 0.1; nicotine: 0.1; wood dust, inhalable fraction: 2.0)
- short term exposure limit (TLV-STEL)—the average value of the concentration which should not cause negative changes in the health of the worker, if it occurs in the work environment for no longer than 15 min and not more often than two times during a work shift, at an interval of not less than 1 h (e.g., ammonia: 28; molybdenum and its compounds: 10; hydrogen chloride: 10; phenol: 16)
- ceiling exposure limit (TLV-CL)—concentration value that cannot be exceeded in the work environment at any time (no limit values, e.g., for ammonia, arsenic, molybdenum, and its compounds, pyrene, hydrogen chloride, phenol, crystalline silica, nicotine, wood dust—inhalable fraction).
2.2. Techniques and Tools Used in Monitoring
- capillary tube detectors with an electronic reading of the result for determination O3, NO2, NO,
- multisensor portable gas detectors for simultaneous detection O2, CO, H2S, and explosive gases and vapors,
- IR absorption analyzers for detection and concentration determination: SO2, NOx (NO, NO2, N2O, N2O3, N2O5), CO, CO2, HCl, and water vapor.
- use of UAVs during incidents involving hazardous materials,
- transport of hazardous materials and samples with UAVs,
- methods of decontamination of UAVs exposed to pollutants and other chemicals.
3. Characteristics of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
- thermometer—makes it possible to determine whether the ranges specified by the manufacturer are not exceeded and whether there is a risk, e.g., faster discharge of the batteries as a result of low temperature,
- pyrometer—enables remote point temperature measurement of an object, e.g., a tank,
- hygrometer—allows measurement of humidity and determining whether it does not exceed the level that may damage electronic systems or deteriorate radio communication,
- altimeter (e.g., barometric)—allows to compare the concentrations of substances at different heights,
- GNSS receiver—determines precise position of the UAV,
- transponder—enables detection and recognition of UAVs by other airspace users and air traffic services,
- navigation and warning lighting—enables safe flight at night,
- transmitters, radio signal receivers, antennas—they enable the control of UAVs on long distances.
4. Application of UAV for Air Quality Assessment
- to support preventive actions—during airborne inspections of hazardous materials transport and monitoring industrial facilities or installations,
- responding to accidents involving hazardous substances—reconnaissance in the event of an accidental leakage of hazardous substances.
Conflicts of Interest
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|Lidar Type||Detection Technique||Application Range||Ref|
|Scattering||Radiation—a laser emitting a single wave of a specific length (one channel); detector—records the feedback signal (scattering) from the tested object in the atmosphere||Temperature; measurements; boundary layer height; presence and location of dust and aerosols in the atmosphere|||
|Raman||Uses the phenomenon of wavelength shift (different for different molecules) of scattered radiation on the object’s molecules (gas, aerosols, dust) caused by inelastic energy exchange between the molecule and the returning photon (Raman scattering)||Water vapor; ozone; atmospheric temperature profiles; climate and weather research|||
|Differential absorption||Two wavelengths are transmitted: the first wavelength is inverted to the adsorption line of the test object (s), the second wavelength is slightly further from the first and is slightly adsorbed by the object;|
the concentration of chemicals in the atmosphere can be determined from the differential absorption coefficient between the two wavelengths
|Water vapor; nitrogen oxides; sulphur oxides ozone; methane; ammonia; temperature measurements|||
|Doppler||Uses the measurement of the Doppler shift frequency of laser radiation scattered by moving aerosol or dust particles at wind speed; requires lasers with a very narrow and stable line||Wind speed measurement|||
|Fluorescent||The device emits laser pulses of wavelength (in the range of visible and ultraviolet light) with that absorbed by the determined substances; the radiation emitted by the substance is focused by the telescope and directed towards it; detector||Metal atoms (Na, K, Ca, Li, Fe) and ions (Ca)|||
|Zenmuse XT2||Resolution: 640 × 512 or|
336 × 256
Frequency: 30 Hz
Mass: 629 g
Temperature detection range: −40–550 °C
Solar panel inspections
Research relating to hazardous materials
|Numerous additional functions:|
Tracking of the warmest object
Overlay an RGB over thermal image
Freezing the view on a specific object
View of a specific temperature spectrum band
|The AirBIRD||Mass: 3.5 kg|
Minimum cruising speed: 10 m/s
Operating time: 1.5 h
GPS accuracy: 0.7 m
Sensitivity: 0.022 nT
Refreshing: 1 Hz
Accuracy: ±0.1 nT
Tolerance gradient: 50,000 nT/m
|Measurements of the magnetic field and its changes||High measurement accuracy|
Measurements broadcast live by radio to the GCS
|The test lead makes it difficult to use in the field with obstacles|
Difficult operations during high winds
|The MONARCH||Plane with built-in two magnetic field sensors|
Sensitivity: 0.022 nT
Refresh: 1 Hz
Accuracy: ±0.1 nT
|Measurements of the magnetic field and its changes||No system cable required|
Possibility of flight in worse weather conditions
The ability to fly with a small amount of terrain obstacles
Supply voltage: 3–5.5 V
Frequency: 42 kHz
Refresh rate: 10–40 Hz
Weight: a few grams
|Low power consumption|
Low interference impact
Easy to mount
|Reliability (certainty) of measurements|
Low range (up to several meters)
|RedEdge-MX||Weight: 231.9 g|
Battery voltage: 4.2–15.8 V
Power: 4 W peak 8 W
Spectral bands: Blue, green, red IR
Frequency: 1 Hz
Interfaces: Serial, Ethernet, removable Wi-Fi, GPS, SDHC
|Measurements of different objects in different light ranges can give information on:|
Condition/condition of plants
|Broad range of application|
Relative low mass
|DroneRad||Resolution: 1 µR/HR|
Interface: RS-232, USB (optional)
GPS measurement location
|Measurement of gamma radiation and X-rays (optional number of neutrons)||Easy to install|
Detection of the type of radioactive substance
|Toxic substances sensors|
|Smart Cable Air||Battery power: 1.5–3.6 V|
Power: 2 mW
Interface: I2C or SENSIBUS
Substances to be measured:
|Measurements of substances in quantities endangering human health||Low power consumption Additional measurement of humidity and temperature||Requires adaptation to the drone||[71,72]|
|MUVE C360||Weight: 680 g|
Measured substances: CO, Cl2, O2, NO2, H2S, SO2, lower explosive limit IP: 43
Battery power: 24 V
|Measurements of substances in quantities endangering human health||Results transmitted live||Requires the use of a specific UAV|
Power supply from UAV
No thresholds or warnings
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