The World’s Dens­est Air Quality Measure­ment System

Helsinki Air Quality Testbed

A new kind of dense air quality measurement system – the first of its kind in the world – that supplements the existing network has been built in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The more regionally comprehensive data is used to develop measures that improve air quality. The data collected is available for everyone’s use.


What is it all about

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Emission reductions

More regionally accurate air quality data enables effective new measures for reducing emissions and their harmful effects. Solutions that reduce urban citizens’ exposure to air pollution can be built on open data.

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Better quality of life

New applications that utilise air quality data improve people’s everyday lives and quality of life. The system enables applications for improving air quality and avoiding air pollution.

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Business potential

The global market potential for sensors as well as air quality applications and solutions is in the billions of euros. Poor air quality is a big challenge in cities around the world.

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Pioneering

The world’s first city-wide air quality sensor network acts as a testbed for new services.

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Collaboration

The Finnish Meteorological Institute’s forecast model, Vaisala and Pegasor’s sensors, the University of Helsinki’s air quality expertise and the actions taken by HSY to monitor and improve air quality create the basis for cities to improve air quality and for developing new kinds of applications that take people into consideration.

A new type of dense air quality measurement system – the first of its kind in the world – that supplements the existing network has been built in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The amount of measurement locations in the metropolitan area’s air quality network almost tripled when an air quality sensor network consisting of about 20 Vaisala and Pegasor instruments, which supplements the existing measurement locations, was installed in the area.

The new network provides additional data on air quality across the metropolitan area, affordably and neatly. The more regionally comprehensive data is used to develop measures that improve air quality. The measurement and modelling results make air quality monitoring and communication in the metropolitan area more accurate.

Actions that improve air quality can be planned based on the data measured and the forecasting model of the Finnish Meteorological Institute. For example, the need for street dust prevention can be assessed and anticipated better than before. Novel cooperation between businesses, research institutes and public actors will build the basis for exporting the solutions developed in the region to cities where air quality is a serious problem.

The Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation has brought all the actors together and promoted the creation of the HAQT project. The change project is a Smart & Clean project in accordance with the Helsinki Metropolitan Area’s growth agreement, and it receives the state’s AIKO funding awarded by the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council for launching regional innovations and trials.

Partners

The Finnish Meteorological Institute (coordinator), the University of Helsinki, HSY, Pegasor, Vaisala and the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council.

Where are we going

The air quality data produced by the new sensor network is now openly available to everyone (https://en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi/open-data). Challenges related to air quality, along with opportunities for new solutions and services that utilise more accurate air quality data have been identified in cooperation with stakeholders.

A sister project for HAQT has been launched in Nanjing, China.

The new sensor network has been in use since the beginning of 2018 and the metropolitan area’s air quality is being measured through the sensor network built in the project, which includes over 27 measurement stations. The functionality of the sensors has been studied both in a real environment and in the lab.

Done

In progress

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