Photonic Sensors Assess Air Quality For Rapid-Response Drone

Reaching speeds of up to 120 km per hour and covering an 80 km radius, a drone fitted with a photonic sensor can simultaneously detect dozens of toxic gasses in an instant. Critical air quality information is needed for deploying emergency services, evacuations and survival in the aftermath of a catastrophic event, such as a volcanic eruption, a wildfire or a chemical plant explosion. Natural disasters like the infamous eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 can severely impact air quality and safety in the short term and are often outside the reach of fixed monitoring station networks.

Flying through some of the toughest environments on earth such as dangerous clouds or poisonous plumes, the Flying ultrA-broadband single-shot Infra-Red Sensor or FLAIR drone aims to provide real-time air quality data used for quick decision-making during evacuations and the deployment of rapid response emergency services.

Read more