The Humming Drone project proposes to use drones to identify and map green algae.
For this project, we focused on the problem of green algae in Bretagne, also called Caulerpa taxifolia or Ulva armoricana. These algae proliferate rapidly and rotting, emit toxic gas, hydrogen sulphide. Their presence is particularly strong in France and China, and is the cause of many accidents. So we have completed the project Humming Drone, which consists in a drone that will measure the amount of hydrogen sulfide over the sea and beaches.
Indeed, the ability of drones to fly allows us to detect areas already invaded by algae and submerged areas with a risk that these algae appear. These measures permit to make a map of the areas invaded by algae and therefore help prevent problems related to poisoning by hydrogen sulfide.
Our approach was to create a web application that allow us to contact the drone. Indeed, although our drone is as independent as possible, it can not determine its flight parameters alone, as they depend on flight conditions and the user requirements. The user can decide on a course area from a map that is sent to the drone. It define four points on the map that form a square. This square is the limit of the area that the drone fly over.
It can also adjust the drone flight altitude and the number of steps the drone perform on site. This last parameter is important because it define the concentration measurements in the area indicated on the map. The more measurements are made, they more they are reliable, but they require more battery, and the main problem of a drone is that its battery is not unlimited.The site also indicate the times of arrival and departure of the drone, the results of measurements of the drone and the old mission reports. We also implemented indicators on the edge of the site. These indicators permit to know whether the drone is in working order: it shows the battery status, altitude (if the drone is capable of flying at the height defined), and if the weather conditions are favorable.
From the moment the drone takes off, it is completely autonomous. Indeed, operating in a toxic environment for humans, any human presence have to be avoided. So we have programed the drone so that it performs the required tasks and could return safely.