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Tracking your carbon footprint
Date:2/25/2008

An innovation called Carbon Hero may help reduce global warming by making people more aware of their carbon footprint. Regional prize winner in the 2007 European Satellite Navigation Competition, sponsored by ESAs Technology Transfer Programme, the device uses satellite navigation technology to track journeys.

Concerned about global warming, many people are now looking for ways to reduce their generation of carbon dioxide (CO2). One option is to use public transport and limit journeys by car and plane; however, although this can significantly reduce each persons carbon footprint, until now the benefits have been difficult to measure.

With Carbon Hero calculating your carbon footprint is easy, explains Andreas Zachariah, a graduate student from the Royal College of Art in London and inventor of Carbon Hero. This easy-to-use mobile system uses satellite navigation data to calculate the environmental impact of travel. With its specialist database and algorithm, it can determine the mode of transport and its environmental impact with almost no user input.

It was back in 2006, that Andreas Zachariah came up with the idea of a small and practical device to track personal CO2 emissions during travel. It determines the carbon footprint of travellers using different modes of transport by using satellite navigation data to measure the distance, identify the type of transportation and calculate the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere through travel.

In April 2007, Oxford graduate student Nick Burch joined Zachariah in his effort to bring Carbon Hero to life. Burch has produced a number of open source, mobile and navigation location-based applications and with this expertise the team developed the device.

"We have now tested our application using GPS and it has proved to be very efficient. Once Galileo, the European global navigation satellite system, becomes fully operational its increased accuracy will aid Carbon H
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Contact: Technology Transfer Programme
ttp@esa.int
31-071-565-3910
European Space Agency
Source:Eurekalert

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