Building Simulation

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 597–611 | Cite as

Locating time-varying contaminant sources in 3D indoor environments with three typical ventilation systems using a multi-robot active olfaction method

  • Qilin Feng
  • Hao Cai
  • Fei Li
  • Yibin Yang
  • Zhilong Chen
Research Article Indoor/Outdoor Airflow and Air Quality


For a sudden contaminant release in an indoor environment, source localization can provide critical information for preventing and mitigating indoor air pollution and its related health and security problems. Considerable research has focused on locating indoor contaminant sources with instantaneous or constant release rates; however, few studies on locating indoor sources with time-varying release rates have been reported. This study proposed a multi-robot active olfactory method for promptly locating time-varying sources in 3D indoor environments. The method extends our previously proposed method for 2D indoor environments by redefining and reprogramming it in a 3D coordinate system and proposing a 3D source declaration algorithm. Via more than 200 numerical experiments in 3D indoor environments with mixing, displacement, and piston ventilation systems, the method was fully demonstrated and validated. The results show the applicability and reliability of the method and reveal the effects of space style, ventilation mode, source release rate, source location, and obstacle layout on source localization.


indoor environment time-varying source source localization active olfactory mobile robot 


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This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51478468), the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, No. 2015CB058003), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51508299), and the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (No. BK20171015).

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Locating time-varying contaminant sources in 3D indoor environments with three typical ventilation systems using a multi-robot active olfaction method


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Explosion & Impact and Disaster Prevention & MitigationArmy Engineering University of PLANanjingChina
  2. 2.Department of HVAC, School of Urban ConstructionNanjing Tech UniversityNanjingChina

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