Vertical Profiles of Carbon Dioxide in the Lower Troposphere at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii, Determined with a Multi-Copter Drone

Jinchun Yuan, Elizabeth City State Universit, Elizabeth City, NC, United States
Although the concentration of carbon dioxide in the troposphere has been monitored continuously for several decades at certain locations, such as the Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii, there are limited studies of the vertical and horizontal variations of carbon dioxide at these locations. Recently, the payload capacity of unmanned aerial system (UAS) or drones have improved significantly and are now capable of collecting atmospheric samples or carrying sensors for trace gases determinations. Here, we present some vertical profiles of carbon dioxide obtained at the Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii, in the summer of 2019. A commercially available drone (DJI Matrice 600 Pro) with a payload capacity of 6 kg and hovering time of 18 mins were used to carry the sensors of carbon dioxide, water, temperature, and relative humidity. The drone with the sensors ascended from surface to 275 meters abruptly and then descend to a preset altitude and hovering for a minute for data acquisition. Multiple vertical profiles of carbon dioxide were obtained at the observatory.