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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2017-146
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
26 Jun 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
Characterization of the Particle Emission from Ships Operating at Sea Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Tommaso F. Villa1, Reece Brown1, E. Rohan Jayaratne1, L. Felipe Gonzalez2, Lidia Morawska1, and Zoran D. Ristovski1 1International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health (ILAQH), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), 2 George St, Brisbane QLD 4000
2Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), 2 George St, Brisbane QLD 4000
Abstract. This research demonstrates the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to characterize the gaseous (CO2) and particle (10–500 nm) emissions of a ship at sea. The field study was part of the research voyage The Great Barrier Reef as a significant source of climatically relevant aerosol particles on-board the RV Investigator around the Australian Great Barrier Reef. Measurements of the RV Investigator exhaust plume were carried out while the ship was operating at sea, at a steady engine load of 30 %.

The UAV system was flown autonomously using several different programmed paths. These incorporated different altitudes and distances behind the ship in order to investigate the optimal position to capture the ship plume. Five flights were performed, providing a total of 27 horizontal transects perpendicular to the ship exhaust plume. Results show that the most appropriate altitude and distance to effectively capture the plume was 25 m above sea level and 20 m downwind. Particle number (PN) emission factors (EF) were calculated in terms of number of particles emitted (#) per weight of fuel consumed (Kg fuel). Fuel consumption was calculated using the simultaneous measurements of plume CO2 concentration.

Calculated EFPN were between 9.19 × 1014 and 5.15 × 1015 #∙(Kg fuel)−1. These values are in line with those reported in the literature for ship emissions ranging from 0.2 6.2 × 1016 #∙(Kg fuel)−1 to 6.2 × 1016 #∙(Kg fuel)−1.

This UAV system successfully assessed ship emissions to derive emission factors (EFs) under real world conditions. This is significant as, for the first time, it provides a reliable, inexpensive and accessible way to assess and potentially regulate ship emissions.


Citation: Villa, T. F., Brown, R., Jayaratne, E. R., Gonzalez, L. F., Morawska, L., and Ristovski, Z. D.: Characterization of the Particle Emission from Ships Operating at Sea Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2017-146, in review, 2017.
Tommaso F. Villa et al.
Tommaso F. Villa et al.
Tommaso F. Villa et al.

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