Development of Autonomous Hexacopter UAVs for Smart City Air Quality Management
Abdel Ilah N. Alshbatat |Pages: 450-465|

Abstract— Monitoring the pollution index in smart cities has piqued the interest of researchers in designing and developing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) capable of carrying several sensors. Recent advancements in drone technology, as well as rapid expansion in air pollution sensor technologies, have presented valuable alternatives for air quality monitoring and management in smart cities. Fixed stations are now used in smart cities to measure air pollution and collect precise data on air quality. However, such data is highly sufficient in making decisions that can improve people lives; monitoring stations require an adaptable and large communication network that is capable to handle such huge data. Instead of having such an expensive and complex network, drones could be considered an easy and cheap alternative to the current systems. In this regard, an aerial system that is equipped with off-the-shelf low-cost micro-sensors is designed and implemented to monitor air quality at a specific location inside a smart city. The behavior of the aerial system is controlled by our proposed Air Quality-Driven Control Algorithm (AQDCA). Hexacopter Drone, in particular, will fly up to a predetermined height, measure air pollutants, activate the on-board AQDCA, and then return to its ground location. The entire system was developed, implemented, and tested in a real-world flight test. The testing results corroborate the system’s practicality and demonstrate that the prototype may be simply implemented to provide an added-value service to smart city citizens.