A new multicopter-based unmanned aerial system for pollen and spores collection in the atmospheric boundary layer

Crazzolara, Claudio; Ebner, Martin; Platis, Andreas; Miranda, Tatiana; Bange, Jens; Junginger, Annett

The application of a new particle collection system (PCS) developed in-house and operated on board a commercially available multicopter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is presented as a new unmanned aerial system (UAS) approach for in situ measurement of the concentration of aerosol particles such as pollen grains and spores in the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL). A newly developed impactor is used for high-efficiency particle extraction on board the multicopter UAV. An airflow volume of 0.2 m3 min−1 through the impactor is provided by a battery-powered blower and measured with an on-board mass flow sensor. A bell-mouth-shaped air inlet of the PCS is arranged and oriented on the multicopter UAV to provide substantial isokinetic sampling conditions by advantageously using the airflow pattern generated by the propellers of the multicopter UAV.

More than 30 aerosol particle collection flights were carried out near Tübingen in March 2017 at altitudes of up to 300 m above ground level (a.g.l.), each with a sampled air volume of 2 m3. Pollen grains and spores of various genera, as well as large (>20µm) opaque particles and fine dust particles, were collected, and specific concentrations of up to 100 particles per m3 were determined by visual microscopic analysis. The pollen concentration values measured with the new UAS match well with the pollen concentration data published by the Stiftung Deutscher Polleninformationsdienst (PID) and by MeteoSwiss. A major advantage of the new multicopter-based UAS is the possibility of the identification of collected aerosol particles and the measurement of their concentration with high temporal and spatial resolutions, which can be used inter alia to improve the database for modelling the propagation of aerosol particles in the ABL.



Crazzolara, Claudio / Ebner, Martin / Platis, Andreas / et al: A new multicopter-based unmanned aerial system for pollen and spores collection in the atmospheric boundary layer. 2019. Copernicus Publications.


Rechteinhaber: Claudio Crazzolara et al.

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