UK: Bluesky is launching a service to map air quality across towns and cities. The company is seeking new sites in the UK to trial its ground breaking survey technology. Using a world first spectrometer, developed by scientists at the University of Leicester, mounted on an aerial survey plane the system can accurately record levels of nitrogen dioxide across entire cities. The colour coded air pollution maps can be overlaid on digital maps or online mapping systems such as Google Earth. “Air pollution is a real and present environmental threat to public health in the UK. Having successfully deployed the Airborne Air Quality Mapper for the first time over the skies of Leicester we are keen to trial the system in other UK cities and locations to obtain comparative datasets,” said James Edd, Bluesky’s Technical Director and Industrial Associate at the University of Leicester.
The Airborne Air Quality Mapper (AQM) trials will utilise the University of Leicester’s world leading Compact Air Quality Spectrometer, mounted on a dedicated aerial survey aircraft. The device monitors visible light and measures how much light is lost at specific wavelengths absorbed by NO2. The technology has previously been used as part the CityScan project with devices mounted on tall buildings in Leicester, Bologna and London during the Olympics to build 3D maps of pollution across the cities. “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Bluesky to bring this satellite prototype instrument into an operational service which can provide valuable information to local authorities and other bodies tasked with improving air quality in our urban environments,” said Dr Roland Leigh, the University of Leicester.
Source: In Loughborough