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Open AccessArticle

A Multipollutant Smoke Emissions Sensing and Sampling Instrument Package for Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Development and Testing

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Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Desert Research Institute, 2215 Raggio Parkway, Reno, NV 89512, USA
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Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Nevada—Reno, 1664 N. Virginia St., Reno, NV 89557, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 May 2019 / Revised: 2 June 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 7 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Unmanned Aircraft in Fire Research and Management)
Poor air quality arising from prescribed and wildfire smoke emissions poses threats to human health and therefore must be taken into account for the planning and implementation of prescribed burns for reducing contemporary fuel loading and other management goals. To better understand how smoke properties vary as a function of fuel beds and environmental conditions, we developed and tested a compact portable instrument package that integrates direct air sampling with air quality and meteorology sensing, suitable for in situ data collection within burn units and as a payload on multi-rotor small unmanned aircraft systems (sUASs). Co-located sensors collect carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter data at a sampling rate of ~0.5 Hz with a microcontroller-based system that includes independent data logging, power systems, radio telemetry, and global positioning system data. Sensor data facilitates precise remote canister collection of air samples suitable for laboratory analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other major and trace gases. Instrument package specifications are compatible with common protocols for ground-based and airborne measurements. We present and discuss design specifications for the system and preliminary data collected in controlled burns at Tall Timbers Research Station, FL, USA and Sycan Marsh Preserve, OR, USA. View Full-Text
Keywords: air quality; biomass burning; carbon dioxide; carbon monoxide; instrumentation; modified combustion efficiency; prescribed fire; particulate matter; smoke; unmanned aircraft systems; UAS; volatile organic compounds; VOCs; wildland fire air quality; biomass burning; carbon dioxide; carbon monoxide; instrumentation; modified combustion efficiency; prescribed fire; particulate matter; smoke; unmanned aircraft systems; UAS; volatile organic compounds; VOCs; wildland fire
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Nelson, K.N.; Boehmler, J.M.; Khlystov, A.Y.; Moosmüller, H.; Samburova, V.; Bhattarai, C.; Wilcox, E.M.; Watts, A.C. A Multipollutant Smoke Emissions Sensing and Sampling Instrument Package for Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Development and Testing. Fire 2019, 2, 32.

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