Monitoring of compliance with fuel sulfur content regulations through unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) measurements of ship emissions

Zhou, Fan; Pan, Shengda; Chen, Wei; Ni, Xunpeng; An, Bowen

Air pollution from ship exhaust gas can be reduced by the establishment of emission control areas (ECAs). Efficient supervision of ship emissions is currently a major concern of maritime authorities. In this study, a measurement system for exhaust gas from ships based on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was designed and developed. Sensors were mounted on the UAV to measure the concentrations of SO2 and CO2 in order to calculate the fuel sulfur content (FSC) of ships. The Waigaoqiao port in the Yangtze River Delta, an ECA in China, was selected for monitoring compliance with FSC regulations. Unlike in situ or airborne measurements, the proposed measurement system could be used to determine the smoke plume at about 5 m from the funnel mouth of ships, thus providing a means for estimating the FSC of ships. In order to verify the accuracy of these measurements, fuel samples were collected at the same time and sent to the laboratory for chemical examination, and these two types of measurements were compared. After 23 comparative experiments, the results showed that, in general, the deviation of the estimated value for FSC was less than 0.03 % (m/m) at an FSC level ranging from 0.035 % (m/m) to 0.24 % (m/m). Hence, UAV measurements can be used for monitoring of ECAs for compliance with FSC regulations.

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Zhou, Fan / Pan, Shengda / Chen, Wei / et al: Monitoring of compliance with fuel sulfur content regulations through unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) measurements of ship emissions. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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