Information based mobile sensor planning for source term estimation of a non-continuous atmospheric release

This paper presents a method to estimate the original location and the mass of an instantaneous release of hazardous material into the atmosphere. It is formulated as an inverse problem, where concentration observations from a mobile sensor are fused with meteorological information and a Gaussian puff dispersion model to characterise the source. Bayes’ theorem is used to estimate the parameters of the release taking into account the uncertainty that exists in the dispersion parameters and meteorological variables. An information based reward is used to guide an unmanned aerial vehicle equipped with a chemical sensor to the expected most informative measurement locations. Simulation results compare the performance between a single mobile sensor with various amounts of static sensors.