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Last Update: 2018-07-25   Source: Research Headlines
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Better access to satellite data for novel air-quality applications

Air-quality information about your city could soon be at your fingertips thanks to an EU-funded project which is setting up a one-stop portal to facilitate access to essential data on pollution gathered by European satellites.


© campix #79920553, source: 2018

The EU-funded AirQast project team is harnessing vast volumes of data generated by Earth-observation satellite missions, such as the EU’s Copernicus programme. It is also developing the tools and technologies required to make this information easily accessible, viewable and usable by companies, public administrations and citizens.

The commercial platform being developed will enhance access to up-to-date information on emissions of pollutants that have a significant impact on human health, including carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide as well as particulate matter. Services will be extended with advanced forecasting systems and decision-making tools to improve management and monitoring of air-quality events in an effort to reduce their societal and economic impact.

The AirQast consortium, comprising six partners in five countries, will demonstrate the commercial viability and sustainability of the platform by developing a number of business use cases in promising markets for Earth-observation data.

Planned pilot projects include using the data and tools to develop mobile apps, smart home devices and smart city technologies for local air-quality monitoring. There will also be systems that could improve the sustainability of firms in the logistics and supply-chain industries or help insurers gauge more accurately environmental and pollution risk. More established applications for Earth-observation data, such as environmental regulation and planning by public administrations, will also benefit from AirQast.

The partners, including European meteorological and research institutes and SMEs, are engaging with potential customers in Europe and other markets where AirQast technologies could have a significant economic and societal impact, such as China and India.

By improving the accessibility and usability of Earth-observation data, the project is bridging the gap between the extensive insights gathered by satellites in space and applications which will have important benefits on the ground.


Project details

  • Project acronym: AirQast
  • Participants: Spain (Coordinator), Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Greece
  • Project N°: 776361
  • Total costs: € 2 178 737
  • EU contribution: € 1 876 956
  • Duration: November 2017 to October 2019

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