Since 2007 NASA has employed Global Hawks drones for use in observing the atmosphere. Aileronex model AUA-Eco is a cheap version that too is useful for monitoring pollution, nature violations patterns and other data-gathering flights. For environmentalists and farmers, our drones can do double duty as environmental monitors as well as for aerial photo-video shooting.
AUA-Eco – The Model
AUA-Eco can be built based on any of our proprietary air-frame-designes as star-mutirotor and glider-catamaran. The difference is that eco model is equipped with a camera and a simple monitoring gear, like atmospheric chromatographs chips.
Data Monitoring Chips
The chromatograph chips for atmospheric species use an electron-capture detector to analyze air samples for air structure, harmful additions and gases. The monitoring chips with gathered data can be used after the flight to upload data or can be left by the drone on a monitored site for further data monitoring transmitting data when needed.
The use of a camera on a drone is the cheapest yet an efficient way at spotting environmental problems as a water pollution and for collecting evidence near the suspicious sites. AUA-Eco uses a basic air-frame fitted with a simple camera. The drone operator can shot pictures of discoloration in the water, which he could show to the authorities, regulators and community. The more expensive cameras can do HD video-streaming to gather better evidence in water pollution or other cases as streaming of animal hunting.
The gathered data can be uploaded and analyzed or sent to our data-base for further processing via Aileronex environment conditions database.
Aileronex offers the compilation and analysis that is performed by our team of researchers. The aerial gathered data are downloaded to our database and software that, in its simplest application, builds the more global picture of the environment conditions and identifies the changes.
Use Cases for Environment Monitoring
In additional to monitoring of air and water quality, AUA-Eco, as a relatively cheap aircraft, could be used to survey a huge area in order to find whalers, illegal logging or get in the way of animal hunters. AUA-Eco drone can reach up to 200 miles range and stream HD video. With the ability to monitor hundreds of square miles, environmentalists can use drones for a lot less money than a manned aircraft. Equipped with a variety of sensors, the machine potentially can detect diseases, look for agriculture problems as irrigation or fertilizing, evaluate a forest health and spot where the forest needs help and repair.
Now you can gain control of soil moisture and adjust irrigation according to the need. A properly utilized irrigation system provides conditions for optimal growing economy. Excessive irrigation means waste of your time and energy, and you risk plant nutrient leaching. The standard equipment consists of the base unit and a soil moisture sensor. Measurements takes place every hour and uploads to the Internet via GSM network. They can then be viewed via a computer or smart phone.
Each base unit can be provided with three humidity sensors, which is buried in the soil at different depths, independently of each other. You can then monitor how moisture is distributed in the root zone after irrigation. When the sensor dries, it also means that the plant gets more difficult to absorb water. With rain gauge, you get a complete picture of the total precipitation.
Sensors come from by Irrometer, a well-known manufacturer of irrigation equipment. It consists of a perforated steel cylinder of 10×3 cm. Inside there is a plaster block with two electrodes in. When soil moisture varies, the resistance is changed. The value converts to a pressure measured in pascals. Optimally, it should be between 10 and 40 kPa, low values are better. The variation also depends on the crop and soil properties.
Base unit with soil moisture
unit and rain gauge.
The sensors are buried as soon as possible after planting/seeding, so the crop may form their roots around the sensor. Recommendation is to put three of them, at 15, 25 and 40 cm depths. As the plant grows, the depth that the plant can absorb water increases. With multiple sensors you can throughout the growing season check if there is water available where the roots are. At the beginning of growth moisture is needed in the upper part, when the roots are not so well developed. Later, perhaps a dry surface may not affect so much, since the plant’s roots reach further down. For plants with shallow roots, you don’t need to irrigate, so it shows on the bottom sensors.
In order to utilize the base unit optimally, you can also use it to measure the temperature of clamps and similar storages during autumn and winter. Read more about temperature measurement.
|Base unit with solar cell and battery||400|
|Soil moisture unit||200|
|Soil moisture sensor Watermark||50|
|Temperature sensor, 2 m cable, air/ground/water||50|
|Air humidity sensor, incl temperature sensor, mounted in base unit||60|
Base unit, soil moisture unit, one soil moisture sensor: 650 euro
Base unit, soil moisture unit, two soil moisture sensors: 690 euro
Base unit, soil moisture unit, three soil moisture sensors: 730 euro
All prices are excluding VAT.
The equipment is sent as package against fee, or can be picked up in Lund, Sweden.
You either charge the batteries via solar cell outdoors in the sun for a few days, or during a day with the supplied USB cable via an USB port. Then you either dig down moisture sensors in the ground, or connect it at home and test the function. Either way, press the button on the bottom of the base unit. It lights up, and then turns off as many times as you have sensors connected. With three sensors, and air temperature measurement: four flashes. The current measurement sends to the internet, which you can see on the phone or computer.
By default measurements are reported once a day. If you wish to increase the frequency you change it in the administration tool on the web. An example would be during the irrigation season you want hourly measurement, and during the winter months to measure the temperature every two hours. In a few weeks during spring/fall to monitor the risk of frost, you want half-hour measurement.
The equipment is designed to withstand -20°C and winter weather. During March-September the equipment is driven with fixed mounted battery charged by solar cell. For measuring the temperature during the winter season mounts other batteries in the base unit. Read more about batteries for temperature measurement.
Subscriptions for data charges according to how often you want to measure. Default is once per day. If you wish to increase the frequency you prepay a sum which is then deducted by the frequency measurement is made. Hourly readings of three soil moisture sensors, rain gauge and temperature sensor cost about 12 euro/month.
Examples of the presentations of measurements can be seen at our demonstrations-site.
View examples from deliveries we have done with temperature measurement rods in the season 2012-13.
The base unit will choose the operator that is available, which means high reliability, and that it will work in any country, most likely.
The base unit can be locked in the GSM operators theft records and then becomes useless to a thief. It can also be tracked geographically.