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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2020

DEVELOPMENT OF A LOW-COST SENSOR TO QUANTIFY WIND EROSION IN REMOTE LOCATIONS

Sensor Erosion Remote

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Titre : DEVELOPMENT OF A LOW-COST SENSOR TO QUANTIFY WIND EROSION IN REMOTE LOCATIONS

Identification : 1022784

Pays : Etats Unis

Durée : START : 01 SEP 2020 TERM : 30 APR 2022

Résumé
In the western United States (US), there are large areas of dry rangeland, desert, and agricultural tracts that can generate blowing dust. Blowing dust is produced when the topsoil is eroded by high winds. High dust concentrations can cause brownouts on highways, leading to unsafe driving conditions. High dust concentrations also have serious human health effects in sensitive individuals. One particular size fraction of dust is known as "PM10" (that is, particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than 10 microns). PM10 is less than one fifth the diameter of a human hair and can travel long distances and be inhaled by humans causing harm to the respiratory tract (i.e. lungs), leading to chronic and acute sickness and even death. Because of these negative health impacts, the Environmental Protection Agency currently regulates PM10 as part of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Many dust ?generating areas are near population centers, such as Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and cities in the Imperial Valley. In these areas, high PM10 concentrations have led to chronic public health issues. However, due to the size and complexity of the potential dust ?generating areas paired with the long distances PM10 can travel, identifying areas that contribute degrading the public health is a difficult problem.As a means of identifying dust ?generating areas, we propose the development of a Wind Erosion Quantification Sensor (WEQS), which will measure horizontal soil particle motion. Moving soil particles are the major cause of dust and PM10 generation ; therefore, measuring soil particle motion provides an excellent means of assessing dust generation potential. Current methods to measure particle motion are expensive, difficult to maintain, and/or require specialized knowledge. To develop the WEQS, we will be starting with a known soil particle collection device, the Cox Sand Catcher. As soil particles are collected, they will be detected with a laser ?diode device that will detect interruptions in the light path. An integrated weighing device will work with the laser ?diode device to measure the sand motion. This information will be stored and processed on site using a microprocessor and then transmitted to a Cloud storage platform for near ?real ?time data display. The onsite data processing and data transmission will allow for the devices to be autonomous and capable of being deployed to remote locations. The simplicity of the WEQS will make it affordable and easy to deploy so that a variety of landowners (e.g., federal land managers, local governments, or ranchers) can purchase and use these to identify dust generating areas on their land. Once identified, the dust ?generating areas can be targeted for mitigation, thereby reducing the amount of dust and PM10 generated. Because of the easy ?deployment, data accessibility, and affordability, the development of the WEQS has the potential to become a useful tool in ongoing programs to reduce the extent of wind-blown soil erosion, and its associated high PM10 concentrations, across the arid lands of the Western US.

Financement total : $98,700

Performing Institution : AIR SCIENCES INC.
Investigator : Kolesar, K.

Présentation : USDA (NIFA)

Page publiée le 28 novembre 2021