Real-Time Air Pollution Data Collection and the Future of Environmental Science

Imagine being able to collect air pollution data and greenhouse gas data in real time in the cities of our country and in the lower atmosphere, collect all this data and store it in the cloud? Is it possible? Well, thanks to UAVs, Airplanes, Automobiles, Smartphones, Cloud Computing, Sensor Technology and people’s will it is possible like never before. Let’s discuss some of the latest developments.

You see, there was an interesting piece of research just published in a well-known science journal; “A Sensor Array for Detection and Discrimination of Methane and Other Environmental Pollutant Gases Ami Hannon” by Yijiang Lu, Jing Li, and M. Meyyappan; July 25, 2016. The summary stated:

“We address the precise detection and separation of environmentally affecting gases such as CH4, NH3, SO2 and CO using a sensor array and with the aid of principal component analysis (PCA). A 32-element chemical resistance sensor array composed of nine different components. Seven types of modified single-wall carbon Sensor materials containing nanotubes and two types of polymers are made. The PCA results show the excellent discrimination ability of the chemical resistance sensor chip in the concentration range of 1-30 ppm. The accuracy of the sensor has been verified against data. collected using space ring down spectroscopy. The sensor chip is also integrated with a smartphone and has been shown to reproduce the detection performance achieved with the laboratory measurement system.”

We already have UAVs and drones full of sensors used to collect atmospheric data, now as these sensors get smaller they can be embedded in average everyday smartphones. Imagine all this data collected in real time along with GPS data?

Maybe we can tackle the real issues of air pollution without pretending to know all the answers, and with that we can tackle the real issues of air pollution locally, where the pollution is occurring and the air molecules that are really problematic, compared to those that are simply labeled “bad”. Status Quo of the IPCC of the United Nations. By truly knowing where the problems lie, we can better tackle the real problems of human health in cities around the world; Mumbai, Shanghai, Beijing, Mexico City and others. With the help of NASA satellites and the network-centric strategy of mobile sensors and advanced ERSI software, all using geospatial data connected to the cloud, we can and do it right. Think over it.

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