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New 'pollution radar' developed to provide unprecedented picture of urban smog
Date:3/9/2009

Scientists and industrialists have invented a sophisticated new air quality measuring device that can act as a pollution radar over cities.

A team from the Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, the University of Leicester and EADS Astrium are behind the technology that can be placed on satellites to provide unprecedented detail of gases in the atmosphere.

The researchers are also developing ground-based instruments this year, which will be able to create 3D maps of atmospheric gases.

The technologies have emerged from the UK's Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation (CEOI) which is actively engaged in the development of novel Earth observation instrumentation and acts as a catalyst for the development of technologies for environmental monitoring from space. It is jointly supported via the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS).

Professor Paul Monks from the University of Leicester is one of the project leaders of the Compact Air Quality Spectrometer (CompAQS), a CEOI project to develop a compact imaging spectrometer operating in the ultra violet and visible (UV/VIS) part of the spectrum, with a number of potential applications on satellite platforms. The technology developed is now being adapted, through the NERC knowledge exchange funding into the CityScan project, to enable the quality of the air to be easily and continuously monitored across physically large urban and industrial spaces.

He said: "The instrument has been developed for potential deployment as a small satellite payload and provides the performance of current, comparable instruments, which are significantly larger in size. Its compact size, achieved through the use of a novel optical design, means that the costs of manufacture, platform development and launch can be minimised

"There is now overwhelming consensus that poor air quality impacts on human health. The World Healt
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Contact: Roland Leigh
RL40@leicester.ac.uk
44-116-252-2590
University of Leicester
Source:Eurekalert

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