UAS For Atmospheric Research

We use numerical modeling techniques to simulate wintertime ozone concentrations.  Computer models of winter ozone are used by regulators to assess the impact of human activity on air quality. Our work suggests that winter ozone models can be substantially improved by incorporating observational data into the simulation process, especially measurements of the vertical structure of the atmosphere. Such observational data, unfortunately, is scarce in the Uinta Basin. To fill this need, we designed a set of light weight sensors that are mounted on an unmanned aerial system (UAS) to conduct in-situ measurements of ambient temperature, wind, relative humidity, barometric pressure and ozone.  The UAS collects measurements from the ground to approximately 1,000 m above ground level.

UAS Specifications

Model:  Quad-copter DJI Matrice 210 
Max Takeoff Weight:  6.14 kg
Max Payload:  1.57 kg (with 2 x TB55 extended batteries)
Max Flight Time:  24 minutes (with 2 x TB55 extended batteries)
FAA Registration:  FA3LRFAAFC (Issued: 11/07/2018; Expired 11/07/2021)
Matrice Drone used for research

Proposed Operation Locations

  • Ouray monitoring site: 40.0548, -109.6880; 4803 ft ASL
  • Horsepool monitoring site: 40.1434, -109.4689; 5149 ft ASL

Project Status

  • We have acquired the DJI Matrice 210 and are developing instrumental sensors for mounting on the UAS
  • We are applying for waivers that allows us to operate the UAS outside limits set by 14 C.F.R. Part 107

Scheduled Operation

  • None at this time

Contact Info

Project Coordinator: Huy Tran
Phone: (435) 722-1773