ECOEXPLORER - Environmental Control Observatory. Exploration of Pollution Levels on the Road for Ecological Realtime Survey

LIFE99 ENV/IT/000131

Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version  

Contact details:

Project Manager: Tullio ING. CAMBRUZZI
Tel: +39 041 71 75 29
Fax: +39 041 27 56 409
Email: ltech@archimedes.it

Project description:


European and National laws oblige local authorities to monitor urban pollution, this includes atmospheric, acoustic and electromagnetic pollution. Fixed monitoring stations enable the local authorities to comply with the obligation for checking atmospheric emissions, but are not satisfactory with respect to noise or electromagnetic pollution. Furthermore, the fixed stations are very expensive, so there are few of them and their distribution throughout the cities are often not sufficient to provide significant data on the pollution distribution and concentration. Periodical survey campaigns are necessary to check the pollution situation. The results of two LIFE projects are relevant in this respect: RESOLUTION (LIFE99 ENV/IT/00081 – concluded) and ARTEMIDE (LIFE00 ENV/IT/000005 still in progress).


In this context, the ECO-EXPLORER project aimed to propose a good tool for pollution monitoring campaigns, which is both periodical and continuous. ECO-EXPLORER stands for (Environmental Control Observatory Exploration of Pollution Levels On the Road for Ecological Real time survey). The project would demonstrate: • the existence of elevated concentrations of pollution in urban areas which are unable to be monitored by the common fixed monitoring stations and consequently require direct dynamic monitoring; • the possibility for dynamic measurement with newly developed solid state sensors and; • the possibility to superimpose all effects of pollution, establishing a global impact index with eventual correlation between the various measured concentrations. To do this, the project would construct and test a mobile station for monitoring the state of the air pollution that can: - collect data, simultaneously and in real time, about the atmospheric emissions, noise and electromagnetic pollution and; - transmit them to a Control Centre. The data collected by the mobile measuring system would be elaborated in order to: - produce thematic maps for atmospheric, acoustic and electromagnetic pollution covering the entire road urban network and; - realise an informative system about the state of the environment.


ECO-EXPLORER is a measuring system, direct, continuous, in real time, simultaneous and integrated, of atmospheric, acoustic and electromagnetic pollution, covering the entire road network. It is composed of small measurement modules, one for each environmental variable of interest, all integrated together, lodged within a container of reduced dimensions for easy installation on any mobile means already being used in public services. The mobile station can be installed on public buses, taxis, specific cars and even on bikes. A Control Centre is able to elaborate the collected data and issue thematic pollution maps. It can also generate alarms and send the elaborated data to an information system for the attention of the public authorities and citizens. The results of the project can be summarized as follows: The system does not have high operating costs, because the mobile stations do not generally require an operator. The system was tested with two field campaigns with good results. The comparison between the innovative sensors performance with the conventional fixed stations gave good results: a correlation coefficient always greater than 65% and very often greater than 80-90%. A global impact index of the pollution has been defined, but it needs a much greater amount of data to be completely validated. The interconnections with local authorities and the information system for the citizens have been done. Since the mobile prototype has been tested with good results, the applicability to other urban situations is possible. However, the validation of the final results has not been completed yet, because of the insufficient collection of data. It will be interesting to check within three years what results have been obtained by the Venice Municipality who are currently operating the system. It will also be interesting to find out the results obtained in other EU cities who may take the system on board and China: six mobile Eco-explorer units, placed on bicycles and mopeds, were set up to go around the city of Suzhou, close to Shangai (Sister City of Venice once named by Marco Polo “Venice of the Orient”) plotting the quality of the air. This pilot project, AQMS - Air Quality Management System - was carried out by the Institute for Air Pollution of the National Council of Research and promoted by the Italian Environmental Ministry together with the Chinese Environmental Agency (Sepa). It was expected that the project could be extended to other Chinese cities.


Environmental issues addressed:


Risk management - Human health protection
Air & Noise - Air quality monitoring
Land-use & Planning - Transport planning - Traffic monitoring


urban area‚  noise monitoring‚  air quality monitoring‚  traffic emission

Target EU Legislation

  • Air
  • Directive 96/62 - Ambient air quality assessment and management (27.09.1996)
  • Directive 2001/81- National emissions ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants (23.10.2001)
  • Development of new legislation

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator ECO.TE.MA srl - Ingegneria per l'Ambiente
Type of organisation SME Small and medium sized enterprise
Description The beneficiary, ECOTEMA s.r.l., is a private enterprise specialised in environmental problems. It has developed other LIFE projects in Venice. For the "ECO-EXPLORER" project, Ecotema S.r.l., was leading a team that included various local bodies (Municipality of Venice, Regional Agency for Prevention and Protection of Environment for Veneto - ARPAV), the Venetian Environmental Multiservice Company (AMAV S.p.A:, now VESTA S.p.A) as well as two private companies (Archimedes Logica, UNITEC s.r.l.).
Partners AMAV Azienda Multiservizi Ambientali Veneziana Now VESTA S.p.A. - Canareggio 461/462 IT 30121 VENEZIA Comune di Venezia - Ca’ Farsetti,S.Marco, 4136 IT-30124 VENEZIA ARPAV - P.za Stazione, 1 IT-35131 PADOVA Archimedes Logica s.r.l.- Via Tagliamento, 9 IT-00198 Roma UNITEC s.r.l. - Via Cristoforo Colombo, 373 IT- 44100 FERRARA


Project reference LIFE99 ENV/IT/000131
Duration 24-NOV-1999 to 24-OCT -2002
Total budget 1,367,784.45 €
EU contribution 394,531.75 €
Project location Veneto(Italia)


Read more:

Brochure Title: - Dissemination brochures Author: Ecoexplorer project Year: 2002 Editor: Ecoexplorer project
Brochure Title: “Manuale operativo” brochure in Italian and in English Author: Ecoexplorer project Year: 2002 Editor: Ecoexplorer project
CD-ROM Title: - Final conference in Venice 14/02/2003
Project web site Web site www.ecoexplorer.it
Publication: Layman report "Ecoexplorer"


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version