Real Time Air Pollution Data Collection And The Future Of Environmental Science

Imagine being able to collect air-pollution data and greenhouse gas data in real-time in our nation's cities and in the lower atmosphere, imagining collecting all this data and storing it in the cloud? Is it possible? Well, it is a lot more possible now that it ever has been before, thanks to UAVs, Airliners, Automobiles, Smart Phones, Cloud Computing, Sensor Technology and the will of the people. Let's discuss some of the newest developments.

You see there was an interesting new piece of research which just came out published in a well-known science journal; "A Sensor Array for the Detection and Discrimination of Methane and Other Environmental Pollutant Gases Ami Hannon," by Yijiang Lu, Jing Li, and M. Meyyappan; 25 July 2016. The abstract stated:

"We address the sensitive detection and discrimination of gases impacting the environment, such as CH4, NH3, SO2, and CO, using a sensor array and aided by principal component analysis (PCA) A 32-element chemiresistive sensor array consisting of nine different sensor materials including seven types of modified single-walled carbon nanotubes and two types of polymers have been constructed. PCA results demonstrate excellent discriminating ability of the chemiresistor sensor chip in the 1-30 ppm concentration range. collected using cavity ring down spectroscopy. The sensor chip has also been integrated with a smartphone and has been shown to reproduce the sensing performance obtained with the laboratory measurement system. "

We already have UAVs that have been used to collect atmospheric data, along with aircraft filled with sensors, now that these sensors are getting smaller and smaller they can be embedded into average everyday smart phones. Imagine if all this data was collected along with the GPS data, and all in real-time?

Maybe, we can tackle the real problems of air pollution without pretending we know all the answers and deal with it regionally, where the pollution is created and those air molecules that are really problematic over those which have been just labeled as "evil" by the Status Quo of the United Nation's IPCC. By truly knowing where the problems are, we can better combat the real problems to human health in cities around the world like; Mumbai, Shanghai, Beijing, Mexico City and others. With the help of NASA satellites and a net-centric strategy of mobile sensors using geo-data all connected to the cloud and sophisticated ERSI software, we can get this done, and do it right. Think on it.