Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New 'Pollution Radar' Developed To Provide Unprecedented Picture Of Urban Smog

09.03.2009
Scientists and industrialists have invented a sophisticated new air quality measuring device that can act as a pollution radar over cities.

A team from the Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, the University of Leicester and EADS Astrium are behind the technology that can be placed on satellites to provide unprecedented detail of gases in the atmosphere.

The researchers are also developing ground-based instruments this year, which will be able to create 3D maps of atmospheric gases.

The technologies have emerged from the UK’s Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation (CEOI) which is actively engaged in the development of novel Earth observation instrumentation and acts as a catalyst for the development of technologies for environmental monitoring from space. It is jointly supported via the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS).

Professor Paul Monks from the University of Leicester is one of the project leaders of the Compact Air Quality Spectrometer (CompAQS), a CEOI project to develop a compact imaging spectrometer operating in the ultra violet and visible (UV/VIS) part of the spectrum, with a number of potential applications on satellite platforms. The technology developed is now being adapted, through the NERC knowledge exchange funding into the CityScan project, to enable the quality of the air to be easily and continuously monitored across physically large urban and industrial spaces.

He said: “The instrument has been developed for potential deployment as a small satellite payload and provides the performance of current, comparable instruments, which are significantly larger in size. Its compact size, achieved through the use of a novel optical design, means that the costs of manufacture, platform development and launch can be minimised

“There is now overwhelming consensus that poor air quality impacts on human health. The World Health Organization has estimated that 2.4 million people die each year from causes directly attributable to air pollution, with 1.5 million of these attributable to indoor air pollution. Population exposure to increased levels of gases and particulates requires action by public authorities at the national, regional and international levels.

“Measurements of atmospheric composition and quality are important to both the long term monitoring and control of human and naturally occurring emissions and the shorter term effects on human health. There is an increasing need for data to be collected, on a long term basis, in more detail, over larger areas and with higher levels of consistency with the CEOI playing a key role in meeting this challenge.”

During 2009 two new CompAQS instruments are being constructed and configured for use as a ground-based Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS) system by the University of Leicester, in collaboration with partners at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. These instruments will operate in the visible wavelength region to enable virtually real-time, 3D maps of atmospheric gases such as nitrogen dioxide to be constructed with five-minute time resolution. This is achieved by the simultaneous analysis of scattered solar UV/Visible radiation from multiple instruments and multi viewing geometries, giving an unprecedented level of information on the dynamics and composition of the urban environment.

The CityScan instrument will have significant advantages over currently available air quality monitors providing a continuous monitoring technique for an entire urban area. Each system is envisaged to provide coverage of areas of some 25 km2 and to undertake real-time monitoring of nitrogen dioxide and aerosol at a spatial resolution of 50m. Effectively, acting like a pollution radar.

CityScan will enable the collection of unique air quality monitoring datasets with the potential to open up new areas in emission monitoring, pollution measurement and air quality control. Such measurements need high performance spectrometer and detector systems, sharing a number of key development demands with satellite instrumentation. This technology is therefore a natural spin-out avenue for space-borne spectrometer developments, with advances made in CityScan being fed back to the UK space industry via the project partners.

Ather Mirza | University of Leicester
Further information:
http://www.leicester.ac.uk
http://www.le.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists on the road to discovering impact of urban road dust
18.01.2018 | University of Alberta

nachricht Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk
17.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Transportable laser

23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>