One drone flight, four water samples? Yes, with Nero Poli.
The Australian company Sphere Drones has developed a new water sampling system that can be used in combination with various DJI drones. The system is called Nero Poli and can take up to four water samples in one drone flight, to a maximum depth of three meters or ten feet. It is also possible to immediately measure the water temperature.
Sampling by drone
Routine sampling of surface water is an excellent task that can be performed by drones. The advantage is that the samples can always be taken at exactly the same location and that the time spent collecting the samples can be considerably reduced.
In collaboration with Sydney Water, Sphere Drones developed a new system for taking water samples: the Nero Poli. The system allows the user to take four different water samples per flight. A depth of up to three meters can be reached.
Thanks to a flow sensor, it is possible to determine exactly how much water is taken. To prevent contamination, the Nero Poli provides one-way flushing. And by means of a built-in thermometer, it is possible to immediately measure the water temperature at the same depth while taking a sample.
The Nero Poli can be used in combination with various DJI drones, namely the DJI Matrice 200/210, Matrice 300, and Matrice 600/600 Pro. The Nero Poli has its own power supply, separate from the drone. The system is controlled remotely by a standalone controller with a touchscreen.
For safety, the hose used to take the samples can be remotely disconnected. That way, both the drone and the sampling system can safely return if the hose gets stuck, for example.
Nero Poli is not the only system that has been specially developed for taking water samples. For example, the Latvian company SPH Engineering developed a fully automated water sampling system for the DJI M300. And the floating Pelican drone was developed in the Netherlands. This had the advantage that the water samples could be analyzed directly, by means of a flow cytometer.
This article first appeared on Dronewatch and is written by Wiebe de Jager who is also a DroneXL contributor.
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