UAS (Drones) in Monitoring & Compliance

Air Methods & Monitoring Part 2
Oral Presentation

Prepared by J. Reisinger1, J. Elston2
1 - Integrated Science & Technology, Inc., 3301 Windy Ridge Parkway, Suite 250, Atlanta, Georgia, 30339, United States
2 - Black Swift Technologies, LLC, 2100 Central Avenue, Suite 102, Boulder, Colorado, 80301, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 404-375-3662


Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), drones, have evolved from rudimentary systems based loosely on DOD or hobby technologies to the current state-of-the-art, which has proven valuable in many application areas. Advanced control and guidance systems, increased payload capacity, sophisticated and improved sensors, and more effectively data processing have allowed UAS to become integral environmental monitoring and site characterization tools.

Cooperative UAS teams have shown significant potential as a new environmental management tool. Formation flight, in which multiple UAS are arranged in a defined pattern gather three-dimensional information to provide spatial understanding of the property/characteristic being measured/evaluated. Cooperative UAS teams can be used at industrial facilities, to generate empirical data including meteorological data, to create a quantitative three-dimensional image of an emission plume along with the migration and ultimate concentration changes.

UAS teams are well suited to perform the following operations at a variety of industrial facilities and monitoring and compliance types including:

? Fence line surveys
? Flare system surveys
? Emission sampling
? Stack testing
? Georeferenced three-dimensional plume mapping with coincident meteorological data

Use of UAS allow for these tasks to be performed at a lower cost with higher accuracy and less time spent on site than conventional approaches. UAS have already been successfully employed to collect data for the assessment of flare system operations. Additionally, with the ability to obtain LiDar, hyperspectral, multispectral, and comprehensive real time data from UAS, they have significant potential for observation of a variety of production facilities.
This presentation will highlight the experience of using UAS for a flare system survey and discuss the application to other emission sources.