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Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) assisted water sampling

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2016 ASABE Annual International Meeting  162461157.(doi:10.13031/aim.20162461157)
Authors:   Cengiz Koparan, A. Bulent Koc
Keywords:   Autonomous flight, monitoring, hexacopter, multirotor, sampling, water quality.


Water quality assessment programs require the collection of water samples for physical, chemical and bacteriological analysis. Lack of personnel, accessibility of water bodies and time of water sampling after natural disasters and emergencies are some of the challenges of water sampling. A water collection mechanism was developed and mounted on a multirotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for autonomous water sampling from water bodies. The payload capacity and endurance of the hexacopter were verified using an indoor test station. The hexacopter was equipped with floating foam, and the electronic components were coated against water damage in case of a crash, landing on water due to emergencies or for water sampling. The system was able to collect 130 ml of water for 48 times out of 73 flight missions from a pond. The unsuccessful missions were due to the malfunctions of the triggering mechanism of the water sampler. The UAV-assisted autonomous water sampling is a promising method for collection of water from water bodies. The system would be useful for collection of water samples from large lakes or difficult to access water sources. The details of the developed water sampling mechanism and the results of the experiments are reported in this paper.

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