Scientists at the
Seated on the
Just the size of a suitcase, the instrument has nine telescopes that protrude out and point in different directions across the city, collecting the sunlight every minute of every day. The trapped sunlight is bounced by mirrors inside the instrument straight into the mouth of a device that measures its properties. These are then used to work out how much light has been absorbed by air pollutants before reaching the instrument.
Dr. Paul Monks, lead scientist on this project said, “90% of the nitrogen dioxide problem in
He added, “The level of detail we have seen is remarkable. For example, one Saturday we could pin-point the cause of air pollution to a football match, owing to the increased volume of traffic. On hot, sunny days when the air is still, such pollution could pose real health problems to residents”.
This technology will be of particular use to all local authorities in the
“We will certainly be making this instrument available to Leicester City Council to help it design its current air quality action plan” said Dr. Monks.
In addition, the instrument has proven such a success that the scientists plan to mount it on a satellite next year, where it can keep an eye on global pollution too.
This research forms part of the