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 Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

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: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified

05.12.2016 | Information Technology

NASA's AIM observes early noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica

05.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>