The development of Urban Environmental Monitoring Station for Luleå is one of the projects awarded within the Luleå University of Technology’s call Enabling ICT, intended to gather ideas which can serve as pilots for the further implementation of novel system to drive cities smarter by taking advantage of the Information and Communication Technologies.
One of the main problems in modern cities is the degradation of the environment due to human activity, with the loss of quality of life it entails for their inhabitants. “Smart cities” are expected to provide solutions to this increasing concern, and the project for designing and installing these stations to monitor emissions from vehicles and industries in and around Luleå will provide a first chance to assess their effects on the environment, which in the long run can affect snow albedo and precipitation, ultimately affecting the local climate and hydrology.
These system`s novelty consist in the periodical sampling of the air and the measurement of the precipitations’ pH, getting this way not only data of the amount of emissions and the allocation of their main sources, but also a direct estimation of the consequences of these emissions in the environment, allowing to look for the best way of controlling them and palliating the related degradation.
The ICTs will play a crucial role in the real-time release of the data, so that appropriate measures can be adopted immediately in order to counteract any undesired problem.
Hence, the objectives of the project can be summarized as follows:
- To develop environmental monitoring stations with enabled ICTs for real-time data dissemination capabilities
- To measure the air and precipitation quality
- To monitor the evolution of the snow pH as a quality controller of the air quality
- To suggest policy measures for improving the long-term environmental sustainability, so a clear socio-economical impact is foreseen.
Initially, 10 Environmental Monitoring Stations (LEMS) shall be installed in Luleå in critical areas in the city to form a network of real-time data deliverance system through its connection to ICT services. Each station in this project forms a node of the network. Every LEMS will have air quality monitoring sensors (e.g., carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, Sulphur dioxide, ozone, particulate matter and volatile organic compounds) with an environmental sensor package of temperature, relative humidity and pressure sensors coupled with a precipitation pH monitoring system to measure the emissions in air along with the pH of precipitation (both rain and snow). All the data from the LEMS nodes shall be stored in a computer cloud from where the further study will be performed.