Vaisala equipment to measure air quality in world’s first city-wide monitoring system

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One of the leaders in environmental and industrial measurement systems, Vaisala, has revealed that its instruments will be used the world’s first high-accuracy city-wide air quality monitoring system, which is currently being deployed in the Finnish capital, Helsinki.

The company’s equipment will measure the air quality in the Helsinki region in a new monitoring network that is being built during 2017 and 2018 by the city’s ‘Smart & Clean’ project partners: Vaisala, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority (HSY), University of Helsinki, Pegasor, and the Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation.

The network will be the first air quality monitoring system of such accuracy in the world that will cover a whole city. The new monitoring network will help compile much more comprehensive information about the air quality in different parts of the Helsinki metropolitan region than is currently available.

The Smart & Clean project aims at improving air quality in the Helsinki region, as well as creating new, innovative applications, and piloting new systems that will be suitable for other cities worldwide. Reference measurement stations using traditional methods are very expensive, so their number and regional coverage is highly limited. The measurement instruments launched by Vaisala at the end of last year are based on new technology, and can be used to significantly improve local coverage of the measurements at a very reasonable cost.

The new air quality monitoring system uses Vaisala’s innovative AQT400 series transmitters, which are cost-effective, compact solution to reliably measure the most common gaseous pollutants, including: nitrogen dioxide (NO?), nitrogen monoxide (NO), sulphur dioxide (SO?), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen sulphide (H?S), and ozone (O3), as well as particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10). The instruments are easy to install and deploy, as well as to maintain. They can also be connected to Vaisala’s weather measurement equipment and software, as well as different air quality modeling systems from other vendors.

Air quality is a growing health problem around the world, with more than 80% of people living in urban areas exposed to air pollution levels that exceed World Health Organisation (WHO) limits. Although air quality is generally good in Finland, approximately 40% of the country’s city dwellers get symptoms from street dust, and air pollution, which is estimated to cause about 1,600 premature deaths per year.

“Actions taken to improve air quality can only be successful when based on measured data,” noted Jarkko Sairanen, Vaisala’s EVP for weather business.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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