Olympics air pollution to be viewed in 3D

Air pollution during the London 2012 Olympic Games is set to be monitored using pioneering 3D technology developed by the University of Leicester (UoL).

The technology, developed by a team of researchers from UoL gathers scattered sunlight to scan whole cities and takes readings of air quality to help assess the impact of increased traffic levels on pollution.

It is anticipated that the 3D technology will offer a more accurate reading of the capital’s pollution levels, in comparison to existing technology which can only give an accurate reading for certain ‘hotspots’.

The sensors will provide readings of nitrogen dioxide levels and show the days and times when pollution levels are at their highest, as well as map pollution in 3D to show how far emissions are likely to spread.

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 an unconfirmed third location.

UoL team leader Dr Roland Leigh, said: “Traditional sensors take in a single point measurement, giving a very accurate measurement that might be by a roadside.

“Between two or three CityScan instruments, we can map out a complete urban area and tell you where the nitrogen dioxide is in that space.”

It is hoped that if successful the new technology will be rolled out to other councils across the country to help improve environmental planning and traffic management issues.

Carys Matthews

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