Because of a variety of natural and man-made phenomena, harmful materials called air pollutants are repeatedly introduced into the atmosphere due to a wide range of chemical and physical processes. These pollutants are then largely distributed due to air patterns and wind cycles gradually spreading throughout the atmosphere. These pollutants can arise naturally like volcanic ash or by virtue of man-made sources like factories, automobiles, aircrafts, landfills, wastewater, maintenance holes, and leaking natural gas infrastructure. These air pollutants predominantly comprise of Ozone, CO2, Carbon monoxide, NOx, sulphur dioxide, VOCs, lead, and oxides of sulphur which can have detrimental effects on human health such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and pulmonary diseases like lung cancer. This makes it essential to study and monitor the distribution of these pollutants in the atmosphere and moreover, identify and analyze the sources of air pollution to curb this worldwide issue.
As the old saying goes, modern problems require modern solutions. Therefore, to tackle present- day issues of air pollution, it is important to focus on rapid gathering of data pertaining to the local distribution of air pollutants in the atmosphere. This would help us determine the sources of air pollution and enable us to find ways to control the emission of these hazardous pollutants into the environment.
The Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQS) as established under the Canadian Environment Protection Act 1999 are a key aspect of Air Quality Management System (AQMS) which navigates the improvement of Air Quality across Canada. These standards have been developed for fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), and ozone (O3) in particular. Industries, non-governmental and indigenous organizations, using assistance from the federal government, set up air monitoring stations.
Provinces and territories monitor these criteria air pollutants and annually record the air quality to document air quality concerns and trends, and the achievement of CAAQS for each air zone. This is done using measuring instruments called Federal Reference Methods or Reference Monitors.
However, data collected from specific locations (e.g., Local airports and fixed weather stations) are not fully representative of the ambient conditions in local neighborhoods due to variations in elevation, vegetation, and heat/waste coming from automobiles, factories and residential buildings. Moreover, fixed weather stations provide an area-averaged quantitative understanding of pollution levels. In contrast to this, remote sensing provides real-time data on land cover with better spatial resolution and comparatively lower costs, and this is the basis for our project.
Creating a Pollution Measuring Sensor Network for E-Bikes with Real-Time Data Collection and Data Visualization
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Mar 30 2023
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