Faculty Advisor

Demetriou, Michael A.


This project includes the research, design, and implementation of a gas-sensing autonomous terrain vehicle robot. The goal of this project is to localize the source of a plume of CO2 gas using CO2 sensors onboard the robot. To implement a gradient ascent guidance policy, the robot receives measurements from the CO2 sensors and computes the angle of highest concentration to turn toward the source. An Extended Kalman Filter is used to estimate the position of the robot while in motion, using data from magnetic rotary encoders and an inertial measurement unit. A mass flow controller and sparger diffuser are used to dependably simulate the point source plume. This work on plume detection and estimation has applicability for all unmanned vehicles tracking plumes in a multitude of environments.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

March 2019


Aerospace Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering