What's Happening in IPO

1 Feb 2019

Environmental Protection Department Will Deploy New Sensor Developed by Institute for the Environment to Monitor Vessel Emissions

#researchwithoutboundaries

The Institute for the Environment (IENV) conducted a research funded by The Environmental Protection Department(EPD) to develop a new senor system for real-time measurement of vessel emissions to help the enforcement of the tightened Air Pollution Control (Fuel for Vessels) Regulation that mandates all vessels within Hong Kong waters to use compliant fuels with a sulphur content less than 0.5%.

Prof. Ning ZHI, who led the one-year project, under the supervision of Prof. Jimmy FUNG, Head of the Division of Environment and Sustainability, and Prof. Alexis LAU, Associate Director of IENV, has developed an advanced UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) based sensor system for real-time vessel fuel Sulphur content (FSC) measurement. The senor on a UAV can fly near to the vessel funnel, within 50 meters, to conduct real-time measurements. Facilitated by cloud-based real-time data communication and computing, the system is capable to measure the FSC in 2 minutes with an accuracy rate of over 90%. The new senor system is way more effective than the current practice of examining vessels’ fuel-use log-book, visual inspection on smoke opacities, or extracting fuel samples from vessels for analysis.

EPD is now applying approval from the Civil Aviation Department for testing the UAV based senor system and plans to run prototype trials soon.

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  • The team of the Institute for the Environment (IENV), Prof. Jimmy FUNG, Head of the Division of Environment and Sustainability (ENVR) (middle), Prof. Alexis LAU, Associate Director of IENV (2nd left), Prof. Ning ZHI, Associate Professor of ENVR (2nd right), and teammates develop a new senor system for real-time measurement of vessel emissions

  • The senor on a UAV can fly near to the vessel funnel, within 50 meters, to conduct real-time measurements of vessel fuel Sulphur content

  • The team demonstrated how the sensor worked

  • Prof. Ning ZHI led the one-year project to develop the sensor and the computing system