Air quality expert EarthSense wins grant to develop innovative new air quality services
EarthSense, a visualisation firm with expertise in air quality, announced on 28 May that it has secured funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to deliver a partnership air quality project focussed on management of both pollution emissions and exposure.
Called LiVETAP (Live Visualisation of Emissions – Towards Informed Avoidance of Pollution Hotspots), the project brings together EarthSense with two partner universities and Wolverhampton City Council to deliver an advanced demonstrator.
The project will create novel air quality apps and a web portal for local authorities and the general public. These services will provide air quality forecasts to guide decisions on traffic management and routing in polluted environments.
The services will be developed on EarthSense’s leading air quality datasets which take into account traffic pollution sources, weather conditions and government pollution monitoring sites, where they exist.
It will also use real-time data from air quality sensors including the EarthSense Zephyr® (pictured, above) installed around Wolverhampton, which will record levels of pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5).
For the first time, the services will enable users in Wolverhampton to see both live and forecast pollution data for city centre streets and school-run routes.
EarthSense Managing Director, Tom Hall commented: “Using the information from the app, users can choose to avoid certain high pollution areas, reducing the amount of emissions inhaled, and hopefully divert traffic away from those areas, thereby reducing the levels of pollution – a positive result for everyone.”
Councillor Steve Evans, Cabinet Member for City Environment at City of Wolverhampton Council said: “Poor air quality has a direct effect on health and wellbeing. We need to protect our environment the best we can to enable positive change for the next generation.
“Through this project, we will be able to gather additional data, identify pollution levels and implement measures to improve air quality. We are pleased to have been successful in this bid to make way for healthier communities and a vibrant, green city we can all be proud of.”
Following the trial in Wolverhampton, future plans include making the app and online portal available for all local authorities across England.