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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-2020-12
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-12
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 05 Mar 2020

Submitted as: research article | 05 Mar 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Monitoring compliance with fuel sulfur content regulations of sailing ships by unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) measurements of ship emissions in open water

Fan Zhou1, Liwei Hou2, Rui Zhong1, Wei Chen3, Xunpeng Ni3, Shengda Pan1, Ming Zhao1,4, and Bowen An1 Fan Zhou et al.
  • 1College of Information Engineering, Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai 201306, China
  • 2College of Ocean Science and Engineering, Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai 201306, China
  • 3Pudong Maritime Safety Administration of the People's Republic of China, Shanghai 200137, China
  • 4Key Laboratory of Intelligent Infrared Perception, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Abstract. Due to technical and cost limitations, the monitoring of emissions from ships sailing in open water within the ship emission control areas (ECAs) is relatively rare. The present study adopts a monitoring method that uses an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that takes off from a patrol boat to measure the sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide emissions from sailing ships. Our method aims to provide a low-cost, remote approach for estimating the fuel sulfur content (FSC) of sailing ships in open water, which overcomes the limitations of ground-based and small aircraft methods. The selected monitoring area was the Yangtze River estuary, a domestic ECA with an FSC limit of 0.5 % (m/m) implemented by the Chinese government. A total of 27 sailing ships were monitored, 14 of which were found to have an FSC of > 0.5 % (m/m). Moreover, the FSCs of the sailing ships were found to be higher than those of berthing ships in the study area. According to the monitoring results, four of the monitored ships were intercepted by the maritime law enforcement, and fuel samples were collected and analyzed in a laboratory; the results confirmed that all four FSCs were > 0.5 % (m/m). Among them, one offending ship was tracked down on July 15, 2019, which was the first time that a sailing ship had been caught for having failed the FSC regulations in China. Overall, the present study provides scientific support for evaluating the effectiveness of ECA policies, and recommends that emissions from sailing ships should be monitored more often in the open water in the future.

Fan Zhou et al.

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Short summary
On July 15th, 2019, maritime authorities ferreted out a sailing ship whose fuel sulfur content (FSC) fails to meet the regulations in China through an (unmanned aerial vehicle) UAV. It was the first time that a sailing ship had been caught for having failed the FSC regulations in China. The UAV system, method and monitoring result mentioned in this news is discussed in this research. We recommend that emissions from sailing ships should be monitored more often in the open water in the future.
On July 15th, 2019, maritime authorities ferreted out a sailing ship whose fuel sulfur content...
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