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EarthSense Releases New Nationwide Map of Air Pollution

EarthSense Systems has published MappAir® – the first ever high resolution nationwide map of air pollution. Combining data from satellites and its own air quality monitoring sensors together with open source data, EarthSense has used complex modelling techniques to create the highly accurate map. Initially available for the whole of the UK at 100 metre resolution, MappAir® shows how air pollution, specifically nitrogen dioxide, changes across the country and within towns and cities, highlighting likely sources and potential clean-air refuge areas.

This application follows on from the work completed under the 2016 SSGP funded project, Air Quality Hot Spot Mapper, which demonstrated a clear need to identify air quality hot spots and relate it to sources of air pollution.

"Air pollution is making headlines across the world for all the wrong reasons," commented James Eddy, Managing Director of EarthSense Systems. "However, there simply isn’t enough data available for those charged with tackling the issue to make informed decisions. MappAir® can provide a street-view to city-wide visualisation of air pollution, and is the first in a series of nationwide products that are coming to market in the next year."

Using the British National Grid, EarthSense has divided the UK into 100 metre squares – about twice the size of an average football pitch. Air pollution readings from satellites and its own Zephyr air quality monitoring sensors were combined with open data, including traffic emissions and weather conditions, to produce an annual average for each cell. The MappAir® data is available to view and purchase online at www.blueskymapshop.com

As additional sensors come online and more historical data is made available, EarthSense plans to produce a range of MappAir® products, including an ultra-high resolution 1m dataset for detailed study areas, a 10m map for urban areas, an historic time series of maps showing how air pollution changes over the course of a day and on different days, and forecast maps giving an indication of fluctuations up to three days ahead. EarthSense will also be releasing a map of PM2.5 (ultrafine pollution particles smaller than 2.5 micrometres) later in 2017.

"Air pollution is not a constant threat," continued Eddy. "Not only does it differ from location to location, as MappAir® clearly shows, but it also changes from morning rush hour to afternoon school run, and from week day commutes to weekend leisure pursuits. This is why we are already working on the next products in the MappAir® range, including near real time altering maps and forecast maps."

With the Government recently outlining its plans to tackle climate change while driving economic growth, accurate map based data, such as the MappAir® products, are designed for a wide range of applications. These include local planning, enforcement and mitigation strategies, as well as commercial applications such as conveyancing and health diagnostics. It is hoped the MappAir® products will also help with public engagement and behavioural change initiatives.

EarthSense Systems is a joint venture between aerial mapping company Bluesky and the University of Leicester.

Contacts:

Reader enquiries to EarthSense on tel +44 (0)1530 518555 or info@earthsense.co.uk, www.earthsense.co.uk
Editorial enquiries, contact Robert Peel on tel +44 (0)1666 823306 Colour separation requests to robert@market-it.co.uk

Notes to editors:

EarthSense Systems aims to deliver products that enable the world to visualise and solve its air quality issues. A joint venture between aerial mapping company Bluesky and the University of Leicester, EarthSense enables policy makers, planners and those responsible for delivering results to access real world information in order to support decision making. With a mix of hardware (air quality sensors), software (bespoke modelling), data (derived and complementary) and people, EarthSense is uniquely poised to take a lead in air quality monitoring solutions and services, making a difference to people’s lives and delivering high value information to a range of consumers and decision makers.

EarthSense has already undertaken a range of air quality monitoring projects, including trials of an airborne air quality mapper, air pollution monitoring equipment on a rocket, and mobile mapping with air quality sensors

mounted in electric cars. Future plans include the establishment of a nationwide network of air quality monitoring sensors, feeding live data for up to the minute air quality predictions. www.earthsense.co.uk

EarthSense Systems is a joint venture between aerial mapping company Bluesky and the University of Leicester.

Bluesky is a specialist in aerial survey including aerial photography, LiDAR and thermal data using the very latest survey technology, including two UltraCam Eagles and a Teledyne Optech Galaxy LiDAR system integrated with a PhaseOne camera and thermal sensor. An internationally recognised leader with projects extending around the globe, Bluesky is proud to work with prestigious organisations such as Google, the BBC and Government Agencies. Bluesky has unrivalled expertise in the creation of seamless, digital aerial photography and maintains national "off the shelf" coverage of aerial photography, DTM and DSM through an on-going three-year update programme. The integrated Galaxy LiDAR system, which includes thermal and aerial photography cameras, places Bluesky at the forefront of this technology and in the enviable position of being able to provide customers with unique and extremely cost effective solutions.

Bluesky is leading the way in developing innovative solutions for environmental applications, including the UK’s first National Tree Map™ (NTM), solar mapping and citywide ‘heat loss’ maps and is currently developing noise and air quality mapping products. www.bluesky-world.com

The University of Leicester is led by discovery and innovation – an international centre for excellence renowned for research, teaching and broadening access to higher education. It is among the top 25 universities in the Times Higher Education REF Research Power rankings with 75% of research adjudged to be internationally excellent with wide-ranging impacts on society, health, culture, and the environment. Find out more: https://le.ac.uk/about