The Catalan company droneFUTURA uses their drones to measure the quality of the air taking as reference the PM2.5.
Every day, people who live in cities like Barcelona breathe in air that contains polluting elements that reduce their quality of life. One these polluting elements is PM2.5, which refers to atmospheric particulate matter (PM) that have a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, which is about 3% the diameter of a human hair. The exposure to PM <2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) over a few hours to weeks can trigger cardiovascular disease-related mortality and nonfatal events. Longer-term exposure (e.g. a few years) increases the risk for cardiovascular mortality to an even greater extent than exposures over a few days and reduces life expectancy within more highly exposed segments of the population by several months to a few years.
The Catalan company droneFUTURA uses their drones to measure the quality of the air taking as reference the PM2.5. With the drone the company acquires massive data from the air and show the valuable information in a GIS.
The main service shows at the end of the process a high-level resolution GIS map of pollution levels, related to the main city green areas related to their urban surroundings.
The estimated budged of this project is around 89.000€. The company is formed by researchers, a MSc in Robotics, and many collaborators deeply involved in CV+AI solution development.
Evidence of success
Municipalities have shown their interest in this use case. With this solution, both citizens and municipalities will improve their level of knowledge and awareness just in order to take the right political decision, or the everyday path planning.
The company has already tested the sensors and reached valuable data.
The biggest challenges of this project are the real time data acquisition and legal issues. The current drone regulation in Spain RD 1036/2017. The company has invested time and resources to get the right legal level of clearance to get the license to fly our urban environments.
Potential for learning or transfer
The advantage of this system is its ability to perform aerial massive data acquisition in real-time and know the pollution levels at different heights and points.
The air quality health/pollution map of the region or city can be used for present and long-term environmental analysis and can help to improve the comprehension of pollution dispersion and also boost the use of green energies to improve the quality of the air.