Key Dates

14 September 2023 - Launch Deadline
21 December 2023 - Standard Deadline
28 March - Extended Deadline
29 March - Judging
3 April - Winners Announced

IoT Air quality sensor combined with UAV to perform automatic sampling of air pollutants

Image Credit : Photographed by the project team


Project Overview

Due to the booming development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle technology in recent years, this project uses Unmanned Aerial Vehicles combined with IoT air quality sensors to perform automatic sampling and cruise for pollution hotspots where the air quality sensors detect high-value alarms. It can immediately arrive at the scene for sampling and evidence collection when pollution occurs, improves the mobility and safety of sampling operations, reduces the human resources required for sampling, and increases the effective dispatch rate of inspection units.
Many countries in Europe, America, and Southeast Asia focus on industrial development but also have problems with air pollution and public complaints. This system is highly convenient and scalable. It can be actively promoted to these countries in the future and used in factories, livestock monitoring, etc. It will help improve air pollution problems and protect air quality in various regions.


Environmental Protection Bureau of Taichung City Government


Environmental Protection Bureau of the Taichung City Government cooperated with Green Ideas Synergy Inc. to jointly develop the "IoT Air quality sensor combined with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to perform automatic sampling of air pollutants", and the Environmental Protection Bureau of Taichung City Government uses environmental advantages, macro-thinking, and adapts to world trends to develop various environmental protection policies and sustainable development strategies. It takes "smart technology, clean and sustainable" as its policy vision so everyone can enjoy a healthy and safe environment. In addition, Green Ideas Synergy Inc. mainly integrated air quality monitoring data, developed and built "IoT Air quality sensor combined with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to perform automatic sampling of air pollutants" and provided monitoring data visualization and analysis statistics functions to provide various industries with Industrial zone alarm values are formulated according to district conditions and adjusted to optimal values on a rolling basis and AI learning is introduced. The above alarm notifications are combined with UAV air pollutant automatic sampling technology to trace the source of pollution and achieve the goal of environmental improvement.

Project Brief

This project uses an IoT air quality sensors platform to analyse air quality data collected by 1,411 air quality sensors in Taichung City and sets alarm values through AI learning. When the pollution concentration reaches the alarm standard, the smartphone APP publishes a warning message and sets the flight path through the AI program to automatically dispatch the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to the pollution source for sampling, completing fully automated takeoff, cruising, sampling, and landing.
In the past, when pollution incidents occurred, the inspectors arrived at the scene, the polluting behaviour had often disappeared, and illegal activities could not be effectively investigated. Therefore, a comprehensive automatic cruise sampling system with unmanned aerial vehicles was used to track the source of pollution effectively, and the industry was required to improve by the law. According to statistics, in 2023, 30 illegal cases were detected through the air quality sensor IoT platform and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles' automatic sampling technology, with a fine of NT$6,329,000.

Project Need

Compared with traditional sampling cylinders and gas extraction pumps, this project uses sampling bags with small, lightweight gas extraction pumps and a customized carbon fibre Unmanned Aerial Vehicle structure to meet the legal limit of the total weight of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle equipment being less than 2 kilograms. At the same time, the IOT air quality system triggers the automatic startup of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. When the system receives the Line alarm notification, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is immediately dispatched to patrol around the suspected polluted factory area to monitor PM2.5 and TVOC concentrations and simultaneously records coordination and altitude; when the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle detects a high TVOC concentration, it automatically controls the air pump to trigger sampling and return, achieving an innovative application of lightweight Unmanned Aerial Vehicle sampling equipment and integrated automatic cruise monitoring control.

User Experience

In 2023, the IoT air quality sensor alarm triggered the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle automatic sampling demonstration operation. In the past, multiple sampling operations were performed, including 4 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles taking off at the same time, automatically flying and hovering in the air according to the flight path, and automatically returning and landing after the sampling is completed, the operation went smoothly and received good feedback from the National Environmental Research Academy of the Ministry of Environment who came to visit, verifying the feasibility of automatic sampling operations for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle under 2 kilograms. Based on the samples collected on site, a portable mass spectrometer (EcoSpy-p) was used to conduct composition analysis on land and air samples and further compare species correlations such as air, ground, and permit information to limit the source of pollution.

Project Marketing

This project organized three educational and publicity activities in 2023, including participating in the "2023 Smart City Summit & Expo" and the "2023 Taichung Citizen Picnic Day". Among them, the "2023 Smart City Summit & Expo " in Taipei and Kaohsiung attracted more than 120,000 visitors, and the "2023 Taichung Citizen Picnic Day " attracted more than 130,000 participants. During the process, the public was very interested in the IOT air quality sensors that automatically trigger Unmanned Aerial Vehicle's automatic sampling, and the interaction was very lively—besides, being invited by the National Environmental Research Academy of the Ministry of Environment to conduct the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle automatic sampling demonstration. At the same time, the results are promoted by releasing picture cards on social media and online press releases and by cooperating with media marketing companies to shoot promotional videos.

Project Privacy

The server used in the IoT air quality sensor platform of this project has passed the " Air Quality Micro Sensor Information Security Certification (Level 2)" in 2021. To ensure the integrity of the sensor's monitoring data, the data is stored in cloud space for off-site backup, support, and management, and information security management is implemented, including transmission data protection, software and firmware updates, data confidentiality operations, vulnerability scanning, vulnerability security maintenance, etc.

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