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Urban Observatory

Urban Observatory
Urban Observatory

Summary: 55 AQMesh pods are being used across Newcastle and Gateshead as part of a project to provide a digital view of how cities work.

Location: Newcastle, UK

Date: September 2018 – Present

Customer: Newcastle University / Urban Observatory

Objective: To collect information to understand the way different systems interact across the city and provide a baseline against which future cities can be developed and managed.

Deployment: 55 AQMesh pods have been deployed at different locations throughout Newcastle and Gateshead along with 6 reference stations to measure air quality as part of a wider network of over 600 sensors monitoring parameters such as water quality, noise, weather, energy use, traffic and even tweets. The AQMesh pods are also being used as part of the ‘Sense My Street’ tool box which enables local communities to deploy sensors and locate them on the streets, collecting evidence to inform or even change their communities

Results: All of the data is freely available at Newcastle University’s website and is being used by researchers, local authorities, regulators, developers, town planners, businesses and members of the public.

Project website: https://urbanobservatory.ac.uk/

Full news article: Read here.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Summary: 50 AQMesh pods are installed in Minneapolis and St. Paul to build up a picture of air quality across the two cities.

Location: Minnesota, USA

Date: Spring 2019 – Present

Customer: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)

Objective: Air quality data will be collected during a two year project to determine if there are any significant differences in the concentration of pollutants between ZIP codes, if there are any areas with unusually high levels of pollution, and if technology such as AQMesh is suitable for measuring such small variations in air quality.

Deployment: 50 AQMesh pods are installed at 44 different monitoring sites throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul, reporting on levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), nitric oxide (NO), sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO), fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and corse particulate matter (PM10).

Results: Prior to being deployed, the AQMesh pods were co-located against the FEM station at Blaine airport for a number of months in order for the readings to be compared and validated. During this co-location period AQMesh showed high levels of pod-to-pod precision, with an average correlation coefficient (R2) of 0.94 for NO2, despite extreme weather conditions.

Project website: https://www.pca.state.mn.us/air/assessing-urban-air-quality-project

Volcanic emissions in Nicaragua

Volcanic emissions in Nicaragua
Volcanic emissions in Nicaragua

Summary: AQMesh is used to monitor air quality in communities living near the Masaya volcano and to show variations in volcanogenic sulphur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM) levels at different times and at different locations across the area.

Location: Masaya, Nicaragua

Date: March 2017 – March 2018

Customer: University of Leeds / Global Challenges Research Fund: Unseen but not unfelt: resilience to persistent volcanic emissions (UNRESP)

Objective: The aim of UNRESP project is to understand the impact of long-term elevated SO2 on the population in order to devise an early warning system for dangerously high levels of air pollution, specifically SO2 and particulate matter.“Air pollution is a chronic and serious hazard affecting many developing countries, but there is generally very limited capability to monitor and mitigate it,” commented project leader, Dr. Evgenia Ilyinskaya who is leading the project. “Real-time data on the ground is vital for quantifying and understanding the duration, peak concentration and frequency of high air pollution episodes, which are factors that directly impact human health.”

Deployment: Six AQMesh pods were installed at locations around the volcano. Although there is no reference station at the site, diffusion tubes have been used to take measurements which can be compared to the real-time readings from AQMesh.

Results: Currently, data is not being made publicly available, but AQMesh readings were compared to predictions from a pollution dispersion model, which has been successfully used for air pollution forecasting at other volcanic sites. The collaboration with AQMesh has also identified ways of improving the equipment for monitoring volcanogenic pollution which tends to be much more corrosive than ‘typical’ urban pollution.

Project website: https://twitter.com/UNRESPproject

Full news article: Read here.

Tunnel ventilation systems in Marseilles

Tunnel ventilation systems in Marseilles
Tunnel ventilation systems in Marseilles
Tunnel ventilation systems in Marseilles

Summary: AQMesh air quality monitoring pods have been selected for use in a project to control the ventilation of a road tunnel in the city of Marseille.

Location: Marseille, France

Date: February 2019 – Present

Customer: AtmoSud (AirPACA) / CETU (Tunnel Studies Centre)

Objective: To determine the link between ventilation and dispersion of the pollution at the end of the tunnel and to determine the most effective protocol for activation of the ventilation systems based on real-time air quality levels, inside and outside the tunnel.

Deployment: Eight AQMesh pods were installed in February 2019, monitoring nitrogen oxides NO and NO2, in an innovative experiment in one of the covered sections of the L2 ring road in Marseille. Called “Boreas project”, after legendary ‘dispersing’ winds, this study aims to use pollution measurements near tunnel entrances to activate in-tunnel fans.

Results: The L2 ring road in Marseille consists of a succession of covered tunnels over 12Km in dense urban areas. The phased project at the Montolivet South tunnel heads will implement a system for the conditional triggering of in-tunnel fans to evaluate its impact on air quality in the zones adjacent to the nearest residents. This approach was tested in 2018, with micro-sensor readings compared at the AirPACA Kaddouze monitoring station. A first phase analyses the pollution without activation of the ventilation system, then a second phase with ventilation.

Project website: https://www.atmosud.org/actualite/projet-boree-experimenter-un-dispositif-doptimisation-de-la-ventilation-pour-preserver-les

Full news article: Read here.

Breathe London pilot

Breathe London pilot
Breathe London pilot

Summary: 100 AQMesh pods are used as stationary monitoring points in the groundbreaking Breathe London project; a hyperlocal air quality monitoring network providing a real-time map of air pollution across the city.

Location: London, UK

Date: July 2018 – October 2020

Customer: C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group / Environmental Defense Fund Europe

Objective: To map air pollution at an unprecedented level by collecting real-time air quality data throughout London, enabling authorities to evaluate the impact of air quality and climate change policies and develop responsive interventions. The outcome of the project will be a “revolutionary air monitoring model and intervention approach that can be replicated cost-effectively across other UK cities and globally.”

Deployment: 100 AQMesh pods are installed at different locations throughout London monitoring levels of key air pollutants including nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in near real-time, in addition to two Google Streetview cars equipped with air monitoring equipment. The data being collected is being published by the Breathe London project on their live interactive map of pollution levels across London.

Results: The EDF used this pilot study & the AQMesh results to develop a blueprint for deploying city-wide networks of small sensor air quality monitoring systems.

More project information:-

Breathe London pilot website

EDF Breathe London blueprint for smart cities

Breathe London pilot technical report

More Breathe London news & information

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Volcanic emissions at Keflavik airport

Volcanic emissions at Keflavik airport

Summary: AQMesh air quality monitoring pods are being used at the aiport to monitor gases from a nearby volcano

Location: Kevlavik, Iceland

Date: October 2021 – Present

Customer: Verkfræðistofan Vista / Isavia

Objective: The pods were deployed as part of a collaborative project between Isavia, the Icelandic Environment Agency, Suðurnesjabær and AQMesh distributor for Iceland, Verkfræðistofan Vista, in line with Isavia’s sustainability strategy to ensure good air quality for Isavia staff as well as users of the airport and local residents.

Deployment: Five AQMesh pods were installed in autumn 2021, monitoring NO2, SO2 and H2S. Three pods are located at Keflavic airport, with two others installed in the nearby towns of Sandgerði and in Garður to monitor air quality in the local community. 

Results: Data from the AQMesh pods will be made available to the public on the Environment Agency’s website, using API to integrate air quality readings into a real-time colour-coded map of the local area.

Customer comment: “The reason we picked AQMesh as the supplier for this project was for the good accuracy of the pods and their ease to setup and operate. AQMesh have proven that they are able to meet our needs in terms of quick response and technical know-how when it comes to delivering accurate and reliable air quality measurements in a demanding environment.”