Fines for the most polluting businesses have risen sharply in recent years, with China, Japan, the EU, and the United States all imposing penalties ranging from hitting the wrist to making big profits. However, while analyzing data over time can reveal trends that can help identify the world’s top pollutants, peak emissions at the urban or national level can be more difficult. there is. Sensors can detect particles in a wider area, but in cities with multiple industrial plants, authorities need more effective ways to identify perpetrators.
A dedicated drone plays an active role here. Governments in the United States, Poland, and China are beginning to use sensor-equipped drone teams to monitor various emissions in industrial areas and provide police with real-time data. Since these drones have proven to be very useful, their use for monitoring pollution is a module that can be attached to common models from drones whose field is specially designed for work. It had a technical impact as we moved to formula functions and sensors. A drone equipped with a camera flies outside Seoul, hovering near the factory and recording pollutant videos. Downstairs, on a crowded, garbage-filled street, residents wear black and white masks that wrap their ears and cover their noses and mouths. Gray haze is hanging in the sky, and pillars are piercing one after another in high-rise condominiums.
The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is part of a pilot program announced by the Korean Ministry of the Environment this spring. It is the latest in a series of technical solutions aimed at solving the dust dilemma in Seoul, with the mission of investigating factory emissions in the metropolitan area. This is so serious that the city government declared an emergency earlier this year.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced on Thursday that a team of six workers had deployed two drones for the first illegal emission control mission in southwestern Seoul. Drones collect air samples from chimneys and construction sites from December to March. In addition to administrative measures, violators will be fined. The air quality in Seoul deteriorates in winter due to pollutants called particulate matter. The city of Seoul plans to monitor approximately 4,000 factories and construction sites.
In South Korea, drones have been used to monitor wildfires and people left behind in forests. In a national park on a holiday island south of Jeju Island, two surveillance drones are used to catch smokers and people entering the exclusion zone.
Can Technology Save the Day?
Proponents want the new drone program to reduce emissions by ensuring that the worst industrial criminals in the country comply with regulations. There are many Shins from the Ministry of the Environment. When trying to compare high-performing countries, we find that South Korean agents are less compliant with the guidelines than other countries. “That’s a pretty shameful story for us,” he says. The drone, developed by the National Institute for Environmental Studies, is the first of a fleet proposed by the Ministry of the Environment that could be deployed nationwide as early as next year if the necessary budget is available.
Drones equipped with video cameras and contamination sensors measure particle and gas emissions from production facilities suspected of bypassing filter standards. Other cities that have been experimenting with drones to detect fine dust include Dongguan in China, which uses technology similar to South Korea’s, as well as Fairbanks, Alaska, and Memphis, Tennessee in the U.S.
The Scentroid DR1000 Flying Lab may be the most successful drone designed to specifically fight airborne pollution. Five different sensors track around 35 pollutants, including carbon dioxide, methane, sulfur dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide. As acceptable levels of emissions can vary based on weather conditions, the drone also tracks and humidity, temperature, and GPS position, allowing authorities to rapidly confirm who is responsible for excessive pollution. Optionally, a thermal imaging camera can be set up with specific configurations for landfills, storage tanks, and oil and gas pipelines. This information is immediately relayed to the pilot’s laptop in the form of a 3D map, helping to quickly identify excessive pollutants and those responsible.
These drones were used by police in Katowice, Poland in 2018. The choice of country is not surprising. According to the World Health Organization, 33 of the 50 most-affected European cities are in Poland. About 80% of Poland’s energy comes from coal, and the current government is doubling the fossil fuel industry.
Katowice itself is the second most polluted city in the EU and is located in the center of Poland. Therefore, it makes sense that the city police were early testers of the Scentroid Flying Lab. However, the focus was a bit different than expected, as drones were originally used to pollute homes, that is, to burn illegal fuels such as “poor quality coal, wood waste, and garbage.”
But they weren’t the first to succeed in Scentroid. Since 2014, drones have been part of China’s large-scale campaign to control pollution, especially in urban areas. This first campaign brought 64 companies online in violation of environmental law. Since then, hundreds more have been cited. Professor Park states that “the idea of using a drone to monitor factory emissions is fascinating,” but the actual effect depends on the flight time of the vehicle and the capabilities of the sensors.
In addition, the Seoul Metropolitan Government uses air pollution maps, smartphone apps, and SMS alerts to distribute real-time data to the public. When the density of PM2.5 and PM10 reaches dangerous levels, we will notify the public and prohibit the school from participating in outdoor activities.
Author: Diva Maharani | Illustrator: Akbar Nugroho