Atmospheric Aerosol Diagnostics with UAV-Based Holographic Imaging and Computer Vision

Nathaniel R. Bristow, Nikolas Pardoe, Jiarong Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emissions of particulate matter into the atmosphere are essential to characterize, in terms of properties such as particle size, morphology, and composition, to better understand impacts on public health and the climate. However, there is no currently available technology capable of measuring individual particles with such high detail over the extensive domains associated with events such as wildfires or volcanic eruptions. To solve this problem, we present an autonomous measurement system involving an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) coupled with a digital inline holographic microscope for in situ particle diagnostics. The flight control uses computer vision to localize and then trace the movements of particle-laden flows while sampling particles to determine their properties as they are transported away from their source. We demonstrate this system applied to measuring particulate matter in smoke plumes and discuss broader implications for this type of system in similar applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5616-5623
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 IEEE.


  • Field robots
  • aerial systems: applications
  • vision-based navigation


Dive into the research topics of 'Atmospheric Aerosol Diagnostics with UAV-Based Holographic Imaging and Computer Vision'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this