Remote Sensing satellite tech with AI is reading air pollution accurately

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In recent research conducted by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and published in Remote Sensing, an advanced methodology has been introduced, bringing a fusion of artificial intelligence with remote sensing satellite technologies that enables an accurate coverage of air pollution in Britain.

Their test reported a dense accumulation of polluting particles covering the urban and industrial regions of South- East England. Although the intensity of pollution is quite low compared to the earlier times, the effect of such intensified polluting agents could not be discarded entirely.

Keeping in mind building a pollution-free environment for the upcoming days, this bunch of researchers has developed the new technology whose efficiency lies in the magnanimous detailing strategy ‘with measurements provided at a daily level and 1 x 1 km grid’ in Britain.

This research uses the power of artificial intelligence to advance environmental modelling and address public health challenges. This impressive air pollution dataset represents PM2.5 records for 4,018 days in a spatial domain of 234,429 grid cells. This provides a remarkable total of 950 million data points that comprehensively quantify the level of air pollution across the whole of Great Britain in an eleven-year period – said Dr Rochelle Schneider

According to the researchers, it might be quite a difficult venture and fundamental for assessing the rate of exposure to these pollutants and the consequential health conditions triggered by these harmful agents in the human body.

While the prevalent technologies merely rely on ground-based monitors for reading the data, which is often interrupted in between, leading to data inefficiency, this new technology tries to fill that void by linking countrywide exposure maps.

In fact, another report on their work mechanism confirms the usage of sophisticated mechanisms to produce estimates of the ground-level concentration of fine particulate matter of the size of lesser than 2.5 microns in size, whose harmful effects are unbelievably massive than imagined.

As the WHO reports on the disbenefits of these harmful pollutants that are slowly shrinking the life expectancy of citizens around the world, it marks quite a big contribution to the field of health and care.

By the accuracy in detailings and possible cautionary step to be adapted can be taken to cure disease like lung cancer, heart diseases, or skin cancers as well. Therefore, presently the researchers are working to combine data with local health records.

Speaking on its relevance of ensuring better health for the coming generations, Professor Antonio Gasparrini, Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at LSHTM and senior author of the study, comments:

This study demonstrates how cutting-edge techniques based on artificial intelligence and satellite technologies can benefit public health research. The output reveals the shifting patterns of air pollution across Great Britain and in time with extraordinary detail. We now hope to use this information to better understand how pollution is affecting the nation’s health, so we can take steps to minimize the risk. The vast amount of data produced will provide a vital tool for public health researchers investigating the effects of air pollution.

Dr. Vincent-Henri Peuch, Director of Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), has further applauded the new invention, specifically mentioning its efficiency of accurate reading and comprehensive estimates of air pollution exposure.

Although this new invention is quite remarking and can be a big influence for the health industry, slight limitations to it concern the inability to record data before 2008.

Another facet includes the performance inefficiency in remote areas due to limited coverage of the ground monitoring network. However, the team is still working on this and is about to bring its expansion soon.

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