Kellen N. Nelson, Jayne M. Boehmler, Andrey Y. Khlystov, Hans Moosmuller, Vera Samburova, Chiranjivi Bhattarai, Eric M. Wilcox, Adam C. Watts
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Fuel Treatments & Effects
Prescribed Fire-use treatments
Smoke & Air Quality
Smoke Emissions

NRFSN number: 19760
FRAMES RCS number: 58009
Record updated: July 16, 2019

Poor air quality arising from prescribed and wildfire smoke emissions poses threats to human health and therefore must be taken into account for the planning and implementation of prescribed burns for reducing contemporary fuel loading and other management goals. To better understand how smoke properties vary as a function of fuel beds and environmental conditions, we developed and tested a compact portable instrument package that integrates direct air sampling with air quality and meteorology sensing, suitable for in situ data collection within burn units and as a payload on multi-rotor small unmanned aircraft systems (sUASs). Co-located sensors collect carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter data at a sampling rate of ~0.5 Hz with a microcontroller-based system that includes independent data logging, power systems, radio telemetry, and global positioning system data. Sensor data facilitates precise remote canister collection of air samples suitable for laboratory analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other major and trace gases. Instrument package specifications are compatible with common protocols for ground-based and airborne measurements. We present and discuss design specifications for the system and preliminary data collected in controlled burns at Tall Timbers Research Station, FL, USA and Sycan Marsh Preserve, OR, USA.


Nelson KN, Boehmler JM, Khlystov AY, Moosmüller H, Samburova V, Bhattarai C, Wilcox EM, and Watts AC. 2019. A multipollutant smoke emissions sensing and sampling instrument package for unmanned aircraft systems: development and testing. Fire 2(2):32.

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