2. September 2019 | Press releases:

New Methods for Measuring Pollution in Urban Areas Automated Flight Systems Improve Prediction of Air Pollutants

Up until now, pollution, for example from road traffic, has been recorded on a stationary basis. A low altitude measurement could provide further information on how particles and air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide are distributed. To solve this problem, researchers at the Technische Universität Braunschweig are working with the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt Braunschweig (PTB), the Federal Environment Agency and other partners to develop a new measurement system based on drones. The project is funded with a total of 2.27 million euros by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI).

Keeping the air clean and limiting pollution are of great importance for safeguarding the quality of life. Pollutants are measured stationary at different locations and predicted with models. However, the distribution of pollutants at altitude can only be determined with great effort. In order to optimise predictions and review measures for reducing pollutants, a flexible measurement system is being developed, tested and applied in the “MesSBAR” project. The project is funded by the BMVI with a total of 2.27 million euros over three years under the Modernity Fund (“mFUND”) funding directive.

In this project, the Institute for Flight Guidance (IFF) of TU Braunschweig, the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, the Jülich Research Centre, Leichtwerk Research GmbH, the Federal Highway Research Institute, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt Braunschweig (PTB) and the German Environment Agency are working together.

The IFF coordinates the project, operates the drones and is responsible for the interface between measuring instruments and flight system as well as data management.

The aim is to equip several drones with miniaturised sensors for particulate matter, soot, NOx and ozone. The flight systems will measure pollution levels in the vicinity of cities and conurbations up to a height of one kilometre. The data will be published and used directly in model calculations predicting pollution levels. This should enable more accurate predictions to be made and measures against pollution to be checked flexibly.

About the BMVI mFUND

As part of the mFUND research initiative, the BMVI has been supporting research and development projects on data-based digital applications for Mobility 4.0 since 2016. In addition to financial support, the mFUND supports networking between actors from politics, business and research as well as access to the mCLOUD data portal with various event formats. Further information can be found at www.mfund.de.