Measuring landfill methane emissions using unmanned aerial systems : field trial and operational guidance

Grant Allen, Joseph Pitt, Peter Hollingsworth, Iq Mead, Khristopher Kabbabe, Gareth Roberts, Carl Percival

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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    Abstract

    This report builds on a previous Environment Agency feasibility study of methane sensing from an unmanned aerial system (UAS), which presented guidance on sensor and platform technology, together with regulatory requirements. Here the aim is to develop and validate a robust method to quantify whole site methane emissions from landfills using measurements from a UAS. The report describes the development of operational airborne UAS platforms equipped for greenhouse gas sampling with a focus on methane concentration determination along a designated flight path around landfill sites. The project was conducted in 3 parts: • development, integration and testing of quasi-static (rotary) and moving (fixed wing) platforms • planning and execution of a field trial of both systems at a landfill site • assessment of the data and methane flux methodology with guidance for future operational practice The platforms were integrated, tested and operated successfully for 10 days of field work, with many important lessons learned for future operational guidance. This report details those activities and provides guidance on flight design and operational practice in varying environmental conditions. It also presents a method for methane flux calculation and uncertainty, and discusses the utility and limitations of the method in practice. Main findings These relate to current operational limitations and further work. There are no current high precision methane instruments (defined in the feasibility study as
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationBristol
    PublisherEnvironment Agency
    Number of pages54
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2015

    Keywords

    • Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
    • Environmental Monitoring

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