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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-305
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 12 Oct 2018

Research article | 12 Oct 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

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

Claudio Crazzolara1,2, Martin Ebner1, Andreas Platis1,2, Tatiana Miranda1,3, Jens Bange1,2, and Annett Junginger1,3 Claudio Crazzolara et al.
  • 1Department for Geosciences, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, 72074 Tübingen, Germany
  • 2Center for Applied Geoscience, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, 72074 Tübingen, Germany
  • 3Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Paleoenvironment (HEP-Tübingen), 72074 Tübingen, Germany

Abstract. The application of a new particle collection system (PCS) onboard a 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 onboard the multicopter UAV. An air volume flow of 0.2m3 per minute through the impactor is provided by a battery powered blower and measured with an onboard mass flow sensor. A bell mouth shaped air intake of the PCS is arranged and oriented on the multicopter UAV to provide substantially isokinetic sampling conditions by advantageously using the airflow pattern generated by the propellers of the multicopter UAV.

More than thirty aerosol particle collection flights were carried out near Tübingen in March 2017 at altitudes of up to 300m above ground level (a.g.l.), each with a sampled air volume of 2m3. Pollen grains and spores of various genera as well as charcoal 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 matches well with the pollen concentration data published by the Stiftung Deutscher Polleninformationsdienst (PID) and by MeteoSchweiz. 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 resolution, which can be used inter alia to improve the data base for modelling the propagation of aerosol particles in the ABL.

Claudio Crazzolara et al.
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Claudio Crazzolara et al.
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Short summary
A newly developed in-situ measurement method allows new insights into the propagation behaviour of aerosol particles such as pollen grains and spores, possibly improving the pollen prognosis for allergy sufferers and providing new discoveries in the propagation behaviour of fine dust particles of different origins. This publication describes the development of the unmanned multicopter based system as well as initial tests and validations to overcome various technical challenges.
A newly developed in-situ measurement method allows new insights into the propagation behaviour...
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