Vertical and Horizontal Measurements of Ambient Ozone over a Gas and Oil Production Area using a UAV Platform
During the 2013 wintertime Uintah Basin Ozone Study (UBOS13), an autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platform, coupled with an on-board UV ozone monitor, flew several spatial profiles near the location (Horse Pool) of other concentrated measurements by other co-investigators. The airframe, part of the Utah Water Research Laboratory's (UWRL) AggieAir UAV program, consisted of a custom-built, battery-operated plane with and 2.4 m (8 ft) wing span and a 12.7 cm x 12.7 cm x 30.5 cm payload bay with a carrying capacity of approximately 2.0 kg. With the current power system, the fully-loaded AggieAir UAV can fly for approximately 45 minutes at a nominal airspeed of 13.4 m/s (30 mph). The system can be operated either in manual control or be flown autonomously following preprogrammed waypoints via a built in GPS system. The AggieAir UAV systems were primarily designed for photographic and telemetry tracking projects. For the UBOS13 flights, a 2B Technologies Model 205 Ozone (O3) monitor was modified for minimal weight optimization, wrapped with lightweight insulation and secured into the UAV payload bay. Additionally, HOBO Model H08-001-02 shielded temperature/datalogger was secured to the exterior of the UAV from parallel thermal profile determination. During the study period, three demonstration flight profiles were obtained on February 17 and 18, 2013: two vertical 'curtain' profiles and a pair of 'stacked' horizontal profiles. As recorded by numerous ground-based monitoring sites, the ozone during the UAV test periods was characterized by initial trends of daytime O3 maximums over 130 ppb, followed by a meteorological front partially ventilating the Basin on the evening of Feb. 17th leading to decreased O3 minimums around 40 ppb. However, the ground level O3 rebuilt quickly to ground level maximums approaching 100 ppb. The vertical 'curtain' flown on the evening of Feb. 17th only reached a maximum elevation of about 2160 m ASL (600 m AGL) due to encountering upper level excessive winds as the low pressure front approached. However the flight was still able to capture a temperature profile indicating a well-mixed atmosphere below about 300 m AGL, sealed by a definitive inversion layer extending to the top of the measurement profile. The measured O3 profile went from about 140 ppb near the ground to around 60 ppb at the start of the inversion layer, and then remained essentially constant until the top of the elevation profile. The vertical profile late in the morning of the following day (after the front had passed), showed nearly straight vertical profiles of temperature (≈2°C) and ozone (35-50 ppb) up to approximately 2400 m ASL (820 m AGL). The stacked horizontal profiles (1650 and 1750 m ASL) flown immediately after the vertical flight of Feb. 17th showed some differences on the horizontal scale, but it was unclear if these differences were associated with terrain differences (topography dropped rapidly to the south) or locational differences in precursor sources. The UAV measured ozone compared favorably to nearby co-investigators (NOAA/ESRL CSD TOPAZ Lidar and CU/INSTAAR tethered balloon).
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2013
- 0345 ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION AND STRUCTURE Pollution: urban and regional;
- 0394 ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION AND STRUCTURE Instruments and techniques