Spain: A team of investigators in Spain is developing a technology that would keep a virtual eye on pollution levels generated by traffic jams. Whenever large number of vehicles amasses in a traffic jam, majority of drivers do not turn off their engines. This leads to accumulation of toxic fumes above these areas. Using remote sensing (RS) capabilities, researchers at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) in Spain, hope to find out about how these pollutant emissions vary over time.
They are developing a scientific instrument that would use infrared radiation to analyse the quality of air at certain locations. At present, in order to determine the amount of pollution present at a particular area, researchers conduct a series of studies which includes tests for various chemicals that may exist in the air. The Spanish research team, however, wants to develop a system which would give results immediately. Their approach is based on the existing Open-Path FTIR approach. The methodology was developed in collaboration with researchers from the Universidad Europea de Madrid. It relies on several chemicals and physical properties of gases to conduct the measurements.
“With this technique, all gases that have absorption bands in the infrared can be measured simultaneously, and that includes almost all gases which are of environmental interest: carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, ozone, methane, hydrocarbons, sulphur dioxide, chlorhydric acid, etc.,” said Antonio de Castro. He is a part of the research team of the UC3M Department of Physics’ Infrared Laboratory.