Researchers at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will soon begin work developing an unmanned aircraft system that will detect emissions from oil and gas pipelines and plants.
The university recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation Program to make this work possible, according to a news release. The three-year grant totals $539,998 and is the first UAS-focused grant from the National Science Foundation awarded to the university.
Dr. Ahmed Mahdy, Associate Vice President for Research, Commercialization and Outreach, and several other researchers, including undergraduate and graduate students, will work together to build a UAS that features precise sensors, according to the release.
The UAS will be able to fly over oil wells to measure the atmosphere’s chemical components as well as provide optical and infrared imagery. These measurements can be used to help identify the source of excessive emissions. They can also be used to monitor and ensure air quality meets environmental standards.
“We are excited to be at the forefront of development in UAS technology that is poised to change the way business is done in the oil and gas field,” Mahdy said, according to the release. “Projects like this can help companies operate efficiently and work to keep us all safe.”