Acoem to present research on the future of small sensor networks for improving urban air quality monitoring at the Cities 4.0 Conference in Malaysia

Grant Kassell, Acoem Engineering Research & Development Manager has been invited as a guest speaker at the Cities 4.0 Conference (Malaysia) which will take place virtually from 21 to 22 September 2021. His paper entitled ‘Future City Scale Small Air Quality Sensor Networks and Addressing the Challenges of Calibration’ is part of Session Three: Green Urbanism for a Greener Future.

Imaging a new future for localised air quality monitoring

The Cities 4.0 conference provides governments, municipalities, urban planners, futurists and innovators with an interactive platform to converge and discuss best practice for re-imagining our fundamental relationship with cities and opportunities to work outside normal methods.

Presenting ‘Future City Scale Small Air Quality Sensor Networks and Addressing the Challenges of Calibration’ Grant Kassell will outline Acoem’s role in developing technology and solutions that significantly enhance the value of monitoring data from small sensor networks and enable its use in forecasting systems, including the techniques required to both calibrate and validate this data.

While reference-grade air quality monitoring remains the regulatory standard, exploiting data from small sensor networks that have been calibrated against a reference station provides a far more accurate foundation for addressing air pollution in a localised way, allowing city leaders and planners to make informed decisions about potential intervention strategies 

Giving cities greater control of their air quality

Given the right data interpretation and insights, municipal and regional governments are perfectly placed to make decisions that will help prevent or reduce pollution build-up in targeted locations.

Whether it is creating car-free exclusion zones around schools, street closures, incentives for phasing out of petrol or diesel engines, congestion taxes, hydrogen buses or widening footpaths to encourage greater bicycle usage, intervening in the propagation of pollution in highly populated areas may be the best way to exert some control over air quality in the future.

A collaborative approach to global urban issues

Working with Professor Roderic Jones (University of Cambridge) and David Carruthers (CERC) as part of the ground-breaking Breathe London pilot project, Acoem installed over 100 near reference monitors around London, UK.

Working with the data from this network, a new technique was applied to remotely calibrate and validate the network without impacting on measurements. The novel calibration technique developed with our UK team involved extracting the underlying wider regional background data across the network and using this to provide a calibration baseline during times of minimal localised response.

This background measurement could then be subtracted, providing authorities with far more indicative and accurate localised data that could inform mitigation strategies and have a greater impact on improving air quality than compliance with regulations alone.

“In this era of climatic upheavals and a global pandemic, now more than ever, air quality monitoring for cities needs to be more localised and focus on faster response times — enabling separation of local, regional and background pollutants to accurately measure trends in space and time,” commented Grant.

“Using the data gathered from the Breathe London pilot project, we have developed a novel automated system that integrates with our innovative methodology for optimising the use of low cost sensors across urban centres worldwide. I look forward to sharing our findings at Cities 4.0,” he added.

Be part of Cities 4.0

Grant will be presenting Future City Scale Small Air Quality Sensor Networks and Addressing the Challenges of Calibration at 11:45 am (UTC +8) on Wednesday 22 September.

To join him and participate in the Cities 4.0 conference, please register HERE.

For more information about Acoem air quality monitoring solutions, please visit acoem.com or email email@acoem.com