An advanced air monitoring system is to be trialled during the 2012 London Olympics, scanning the capital's air quality throughout the Games.
The new technology varies from conventional ‘hotspot’ systems in that it provides a wide-ranging ‘map’ that can show air quality at every point in a city. This means that pollution can be measured anywhere, allowing researchers to focus on areas such as schools or road junctions.
It achieves this by using sensors that instead of testing individual air samples, it analyses the way chemicals in the atmosphere scatter sunlight. It is currently undergoing tests at the University of Leicester, and will be ready to document pollution caused by increased traffic throughout the Olympics.
Dr Roland Leigh, from the University of Leicester's Earth Observation Science Group, who led the development team, said: "We will be able to map the pollution in 3D to show emissions of nitrogen dioxide and how far they spread.
"Traditional sensors take in a single point measurement, giving a very accurate measurement that might be by a roadside.”
Posted by Claire Manning