Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A mathematical model developed at the School of Computing is forecasting air quality across a number of European cities

26.11.2007
Led by Dr. Roberto San José, the Environmental Software and Modelling Group (GMSMA) at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid’s School of Computing, has developed an advanced modelling system to forecast air quality, called OPANA. OPANA is now operating across a number of European cities.

Founded in 1992, the GMSMA has built a complex air quality simulation system that is at the leading edge in meteorology, environmental physics and chemistry. The system is now in use and is forecasting air quality in the cities where the model has been deployed. After forecasting (it usually takes the system a day to make a 72-hour forecast), OPANA transmits this information through the latest communication systems (GPRS, WAP…) to street-level information panels or to the Internet.

The system outputs an air quality indicator based on five urban pollutants: sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter (PM10), ozone (O3) and carbon monoxide (CO). Air quality in the area under observation is defined by the worst of the partial indicators of each pollutant, which is known as the global air quality indicator. The indicator values range from 0 to >150, and the higher the indicator is the worse the air quality is. The indicator value 0 is equivalent to a zero concentration of pollutant, whereas the value 100 represents the pre-established limit as of which the population should be warned of the potential risks.

A region’s air quality is influenced by the geographical distribution of emission sources, the quantity of emitted pollutants and the physical and chemical processes taking place in the atmosphere. The climatology and terrain influence the dispersion and transportation processes.

The forecasting system developed by the GMSMA takes into account all these variables. The system comprises an emissions model, a meteorological model, a transportation model, a photochemical model and a deposition model.

Measuring stations

Air quality is measured directly at stations located in different parts of the cities, but this information is confined to the space around the station. After calibration with the measuring stations, the models can produce maps and information about the whole region.

The emissions model (MM5-CMAQ-EMIMO) used by the GMSMA, which is OPANA’s mainstay, covers anthropogenic emissions from traffic, industry, households and the services sector with a spatial resolution of 1 km and a time resolution of 1 hour, respectively. It also accounts for biogenic emissions (primarily isoprenes and monoterpenes) from trees and vegetation.

The goal of the forecasting system is to provide users and environmental authorities with 24- to 72-hour air quality forecasts that can be drawn on to then take steps, in line with specially designed models, to reduce emissions and comply with the limits set out in European Air Quality Directives.

This is a complex process, as, in the case of ozone for example, a reduction in NOx emissions could lead to a significant increase in ozone levels in some parts of the city and its surroundings on the next day.

Urban applications

Originally applied in the cities of Madrid, Leicester and Bilbao, it has now been deployed in other cities, like Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands, as well as in Asturias and Andalusia.

A data collection algorithm gathers information for the forecasts from ground emission stations (first 24 hours). This algorithm automates the processing of the observed information for use in the forecasts and has led to a statistically significant improvement in the results.

OPANA is a real-time air quality forecasting tool. OPANA offers mesoscale domains, is easy to configure and is flexible enough to accept additional information to improve the forecasting system. However, the tool can only be operated by experts, and, in almost all applications, the service is provided over the Internet. The GMSMA is responsible for routine system operation.

Environmental impact studies and industrial forecasts

Apart from air quality forecasting, the model also has the potential to conduct environmental impact studies. OPANA has been used to run environmental impact studies on the Txingudi and San Sebastián incinerators, as well as power stations for Unión Fenosa, Endesa, Cepsa, EHL, Electrabel and others. The system is also capable of forecasting the impact of industrial plants, like the ACECA power station and Portland Valderrivas cement works, on air quality.

Eduardo Martínez | alfa
Further information:
http://artico.lma.fi.upm.es/
http://www.fi.upm.es/?pagina=558

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

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: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>