HomeEnvironment & ClimateAbu Dhabi Adopts Space Laser Technology To Detect Vehicle Emission Levels

Abu Dhabi Adopts Space Laser Technology To Detect Vehicle Emission Levels

Abu-Dhabi, UAE – Abu Dhabi has adopted a space technology to assess vehicle emission levels on some of its busiest roads as part of a major drive to boost air quality in the country.

The remote-sensing tool – which is now in operation in the capital – aims to collect real-time data on various kinds of pollutants emitted on the roads.

Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, which has brought the technology to the Middle East for the first time, hopes the collected data will help formulate effective mitigation measures.

The unmanned system called Edar (emissions detection and reporting) sits on a 5-metre pole above the road and remotely detects plumes from the exhaust pipes of both light and heavy-duty vehicles using its laser-based overhead detectors.

The monitoring device is a Nasa Spinoff system, a term used to describe space agency technology subsequently used to benefit life on Earth.

It was patented by US-based Hager Environmental and Atmospheric Technologies, known as Heat, with 4 Earth Intelligence (4EI) the local partner on the project.

Stewart Hager, chief executive of Heat, told The National that the remote-sensing technology is used in outer space.

“It is like a satellite on a pole on Earth.”

“It is like an OCO [Orbiting Carbon Observatory] satellite, which is part of a group of satellites that go around the Earth. They shoot a laser down into the atmosphere and they can tell you how many CO2 molecules are in that column of air. And this one does the same thing,” said Mr. Hager.

“But here … I am scanning and creating a picture like a line camera.”

The system can detect carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and nitrogen dioxide with high accuracy.

It will also identify the vehicle licence plate number that will be used to assess technical information such as brand, model, fuel type, emission standard, and vehicle weight. No personal information will be used in the study, said the authorities.

Edar will be installed at six different locations in Abu Dhabi; the Corniche, Mussafah, Muroor, Salam Street, and Al Ain, and the testing period will last three weeks.

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