Environmental inspection Air robots, drones (also known as UAV) offer new possibilities for safe and effective measurement at height. Today, in the context of legislative environmental inspection, people have to investigate at dangerous heights taking samples of air from factory chimneys, which is expensive and risk-full.

Therefore, the environmental consultancy firm Witteveen + Bos and the Municipality of Enschede, together with the companies DroneXpert and GravuTech and Saxion, started the Flexible Air Sample Taker (FAST) project with the aim of researching the possibilities of drones (UAV) for the project. use in the environmental inspection.

Research question

The project objective is: "Research, develop and evaluate the possibilities of a modular sensor array for the applications of particulate matter / NOx (sensor) and odor analyzes (air samples)". The project partners want to do this by developing two Flexible Air Sample Taker (FAST) sensors on an air robot.


Within the Flexible Air Sample Taker (FAST) project, the research group has developed an environmental technology snifter with two modules: particulate matter and odor. These modules were developed on a DJI drone platform together with DroneXpert from Bentelo. The particulate matter module measures, in addition to NO2 concentration, the particulate matter concentrations PM1, PM2.5 and PM10. The data is shown live on the remote console of the drone and saved with GPS data for further analysis.

With this module, therefore, source localization and model validation are possible due to the 3D diffusion insights. The fragrance module is a module that can take samples of air at height by filling a bag. Together with the mangnetic release system, this fragrance module ensures that odor samples can now be taken from the ground instead of at unsafe heights at exhaust pipes.

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