While the world watches the Olympics, Leicester researchers watch the London air
Researchers from our Earth Observation Science Group are to use new technology they have developed to monitor the impact of increased traffic on pollution levels during the London Olympics.
They plan to set up sensors in the city to map the pollution in 3D to show emissions of nitrogen dioxide and how far they spread.
The announcement has been made during the third annual Universities Week campaign which started this week. This year’s campaign will look at the contribution that our universities make – and have always made – to the Olympic movement, the sports industry and society as whole.
Dr Roland Leigh is leading the team developing this technology. It is already being tested in Leicester and it is hoped that the information it gleans will help improve council planning on environmental and traffic management issues.
The CityScan technology gathers scattered sunlight to scan whole cities and take readings of air quality. Rather than existing technology, which can only give an accurate reading for certain "hotspots," CityScan can show the air quality over every point of the city - including individual roads, playgrounds and other buildings.
For the 2012 Olympics, sensors will be set up on a 30-storey building in North Kensington and a 14-storey building in Chelsea, in the west of the city, as well as a third location which is yet be determined.
The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games are expected to draw eleven million visitors from around the world to the UK's capital for seven weeks, and three million extra car journeys are anticipated on the busiest day.