Monitor of pollutants adjacent to a motorway using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Why it matters?

Quantitative assessment of the vertical profile of traffic pollution near motorways is a challenging task, specifically the monitoring of particle number concentration (PNC). Traffic pollution is regularly measured at ground level while the vertical distribution, is limited to studies conducted from buildings or fixed towers and balloons.

This project demonstrated that the PNC sampled with a constant traffic flow, increased from a concentration of 2×104 p/cm^3 near the ground up to 10 m, and then sharply decreased attaining a steady value of 4×103 p/cm^3 beyond a height of about 40 m.

While more comprehensive investigations would be warranted under different conditions, such as topography and vehicle and fuel type, this finding is of great significance, given that it demonstrates the impact of traffic emissions on human exposure, but less so to pollution within the upper part of the boundary layer.



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