Development of Fixed-Wing UAV 3D Coverage Paths for Urban Air Quality Profiling

Qianyu Zhou, Li Yu Lo, Bailun Jiang, Ching Wei Chang, Chih Yung Wen, Chih Keng Chen, Weifeng Zhou

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Due to the ever-increasing industrial activity, humans and the environment suffer from deteriorating air quality, making the long-term monitoring of air particle indicators essential. The advances in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) offer the potential to utilize UAVs for various forms of monitoring, of which air quality data acquisition is one. Nevertheless, most current UAV-based air monitoring suffers from a low payload, short endurance, and limited range, as they are primarily dependent on rotary aerial vehicles. In contrast, a fixed-wing UAV may be a better alternative. Ad-ditionally, one of the most critical modules for 3D profiling of a UAV system is path planning, as it directly impacts the final results of the spatial coverage and temporal efficiency. Therefore, this work focused on developing 3D coverage path planning based upon current commercial ground control software, where the method mainly depends on the Boustrophedon and Dubins paths. Fur-thermore, a user interface was also designed for easy accessibility, which provides a generalized tool module that links up the proposed algorithm, the ground control software, and the flight con-troller. Simulations were conducted to assess the proposed methods. The result showed that the proposed methods outperformed the existing coverage paths generated by ground control soft-ware, as it showed a better coverage rate with a sampling density of 50 m.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3630
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2022


  • air quality
  • coverage path planning
  • fixed-wing UAV
  • monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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