Available Technologies: Sustainability

3D atmospheric tomography

A tomographic method for 3D profiling of atmospheric conditions in an area.

3D tomography 13D tomography 2

Benefits

  • Delivers accurate 3D reconstruction and detailed analysis of atmospheric conditions
  • Capability to cover areas as large as 1 kilometre cubed
  • Has potential applications for optimising land use in agriculture and energy
  • Can reduce safety risks at airports.

Background

Atmospheric conditions are a crucial consideration when undertaking any development activities in an area.

To determine temperature, wind velocity and direction, “linear” methods such as radar, lidar or sodar are used. In each of these, atmospheric conditions are calculated at particular points within an area and the values are extrapolated to cover the region.

Such methods however, are incapable of accurately producing a detailed 3D model of atmospheric conditions.

Technology

3D atmospheric tomography uses acoustic technology alongside drones to produce an accurate and detailed 3D reconstruction of windflows and temperature in an area.

An array of sensors placed in the area reflect the sound or electromagnetic frequencies emitted by a drone. The reflections are used to reconstruct the speed and direction of wind, and temperature changes within the area.

Potential markets

This technology has significant potential in the energy, agriculture and aviation industries, for example:

  • to optimise positioning of wind turbines, photovoltaic (PV) or solar thermal (ST) systems in energy farms.
  • to position frost fans, or plant the right types of grape vines in different regions of vineyards.
  • to provide a better understanding of microscale atmospheric changes in almond, citrus and grain farms.

Partnering opportunities

UniSA Ventures is seeking partners for co-development and licensing opportunities.

Inventor

  • Prof Anthony Finn, Associate Head, School of Engineering, University of South Australia

Commercial lead

Simon Daws