Drones to tackle the supersized pollution problem created by the large ships and save over 50,000 people every year

Transportation of goods at sea constitutes a significant source of air pollution and greatly influences the quality of air in many cities around the globe.

According to research reports, health costs related to the treatment of diseases caused by ship traffic amount to some estimated 60 billion annually in Europe alone, corresponding to approximately 10% of all health costs associated with the effects of air pollution in the region. At full power, the world’s largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas, consumes up to 66,000 gallons of diesel fuel a day.

In order to reduce the environmental impact of ship traffic, the European Union and the International Maritime Organization have implemented regulations aimed at reducing emissions, in particular a reduction of the emissions of SO2 and NO2. Certain control areas, have been defined globally in which enhanced emission restrictions apply. When entering such areas, vessels are required to use low-emission fuel, whereas other and cheaper types of fuel may be used outside the control areas.

However, until now no reliable and cost-efficient procedure for performing exhaust measurements of plumes of vessels has been developed so far.

PatentYogi’s expert patent search team has discovered a patent application that teaches using drones to determine emissions in an exhaust plume produced by a combustion engine of a ship. The system determines position and distribution of the exhaust plume based on the position, bearing and speed of the ship and further on the basis of meteorological data, such as wind direction and speed. A drone is then controlled to fly through the emission plume to make measurements of exhaust emissions of the vessel.

In Europe, emissions from vessels cause an estimated 50,000 premature deaths per year. Therefore, the technology disclosed in this patent application could save over 50,000 people every year.

Patent Information
Publication number: US 20170003684
Patent Title: A Method and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for Determining Emissions of a Vessel
Publication date: 5 Jan 2017
Filing date: 28 Jul 2016
Inventors: Jon Knudsen;
Original Assignee: EXPLICIT ApS