AOSC Departmental Seminar
April 9, 2015

Making SENSE of our environment: monitoring urban air pollution, weather and greenhouse gases with smart sensor network

Ning Zeng and Russ Dickerson
AOSC and ESSIC, University of Maryland

70-80% of the world's fossil fuel CO2 emissions come from cities, where much of the human activities are concentrated. Yet, surprisingly, we know relatively little about the spatial-temporal distributions of CO2 and air pollution in the cities, in part limited by our ability to monitor the atmosphere at urban scales. 

We describe an innovative approach using low-cost, moderate-precision, and smart sensor network to monitor urban environmental, based on a University of Maryland project, named SENSE, with participation of a highly interdisciplinary body of students. Our goal is to eventually set up a dense network of approximately 200 sensors around the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Region that provides unprecedentedly high spatial-temporal information on weather, air pollution and greenhouse gases (GHGs) in near real time.

We will also describe FLAGG-MD (Flux of Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases in MAryland), a NIST-supported project that monitors GHGs using more precise sensors on airplanes and towers, aiming at quantifying city-scale GHG emissions.