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Air quality and pollution mapping system, using remote measurements and GPS technology

Paper Topic: 

Pages :
315 - 323

Schreiner C., Branzila M., Trandabat A. and Ciobanu R.C.
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According to the actual European context, including the development of risk free residential
and industrial areas, the main demand lies in instant, accurate and elaborated information
regarding environment quality and pollution risks.
This paper presents a conceptual architecture for a versatile, flexible, cost efficient, highspeed
instrument for monitoring the air quality.
In order to cover a large monitoring area, the system is placed in the luggage compartment of
a glider. The glider was peculiarly selected, because, in free flight, it covers a wide area –
hundreds of kilometers per hour - with a reasonable speed in an economical way, may allow
repetitive flight cycles at different altitudes, and, by comparing to a motorized aircraft, it caries
the mobile part of the system without affecting the measurement precision by fast
acceleration, vibrations, turbulences or polluting exhaust gases.
The device, composed by two main physic parts: the mobile and the field components, is
remotely controlled, and no kind of intervention from pilot part is requested during the flight,
meaning that the measurement operation may be completely accessed from the ground
anytime during flight schedules and doesn’t depend on pilot knowledge or action.
The mobile component is composed by an acquisition block, based on specialized gas
sensors inter-connected within a prototype acquisition board, a positioning system which is
represented by a GPS map 196, a laptop and a transmission module.
The software platform – in terms of virtual instruments - was developed under Labview
programming environment.
The communication between GPS and laptop is realized by a RS232 interface, using the
NMEA protocol. The information is dynamically processed, allowing both the survey and alert
regimes, in order to allow the immediate pertinent decisions, directly, or by use of an expert/esurvey
The data related to air quality map for the monitored site should be further submitted to a
statistical – pollution (contamination) process - control, allowing the evaluation of: peak,
average, trend and prediction of pollution, related either to temporal (season, day/night, peak
hours etc.) or geographical parameters (altitude, vicinity etc.), or to atmospheric conditions
(humidity, wind etc.), or even to societal demands (fuel type, production planning, urban
development, or other relevant contextual circumstances).
The immediate potential application lies in mapping the air pollution factors dispersion and
cause identification, in order to answer to the needs of residential and industrial areas
sustainable expansion, a very important problem met mainly by candidate countries to EC.

remote measurements, GPS, virtual instrumentation, air quality surveillance, mobile mapping system attached to a glider