environment

Mobile air quality monitoring station soon in Dubai

High-tech station to act as environmental operations room, stream data of 100 pollutants in real time

Staff Report
18:47 March 15, 2017

Dubai: Dubai Municipality is preparing to receive an environment-friendly mobile station for air quality monitoring, the civic body said on Wednesday.

The station, a first of its kind in the region, includes 20 devices to monitor about 100 components and composites that pollute the air, Hussain Nasser Lootah, director-general of the municipality, said in a press release. He noted that the station was being tested in Germany.

Lootah said that a working group from the municipality will travel to Germany to attend an intensive training course on the work mechanisms, operation and maintenance of the station, and the calibration of the monitoring techniques attached to it.

“Once this is done, the station will be shipped to Dubai and it is expected to arrive by the end of this month,” he said.

Lootah pointed out that the manufacture and delivery of the mobile station took about eight months, including two months of design, as it was necessary to determine the technical specifications related to the extensions of the station such as the sophisticated device for monitoring and measuring the elements and compounds of air pollutants.

“We also had to select the technical equipment and software appropriate for the climatic nature of the country, and ensure that they meet the needs and requirements of the growth in Dubai,” he said.

Lootah pointed out that the technical specifications of the devices in the station will help the manufacturing and operational processes of different sectors, including the industrial, transportation and energy generation sectors, in addition to many of the service organisations such as the sewage treatment plants and cooling stations.

He stressed that the station has been provided with solar panels to operate all its technical devices.

“The station will serve as a mobile environmental operations room. It can respond to emergencies and crises and deal with exceptional cases efficiently as it will be provided with advanced means of communication that are linked with the main call centre of the municipality in order to respond to emergency situations reported from various parts of Dubai.”

The employees of the station will be able to provide the levels and concentrations of pollutants in real time, which can support the decision-making processes and allow taking appropriate measures and actions faster to protect the public from pollution, said Lootah.

Alya Al Harmoudi, director of Environment Department at the municipality, said the station will contribute to environmental surveys, and will allow precise and comprehensive data collection, thereby covering all areas across the emirate. Its hardware can monitor all elements of air pollutants and suspended particles.

She said the station will monitor seven elements and compounds through a 100-metre spiral pipe, which will take samples of the polluting elements from the chimneys, including nitrogen oxides and hydrogen chloride, and it also has sensors for monitoring 75 components and compounds of toxic pollutants and odours.

Al Harmoudi added that the station contains devices for monitoring radioactive pollution, noise pollution, weather conditions, including wind speed, temperature and the rate of humidity, solar radiation, and the rate of rainfall.

She added that the captured data will be used in the form of an accurate digital map identifying the sites and areas that exceed the limits of environmental air pollutants.

The captured data will also be used as the main inputs in conducting technical studies and applied research, which will become a base to formulate the future development plans on a studied scientific basis to meet the environmental challenges witnessed by the emirate.

Al Harmoudi said the mobile station contains a number of different gas cylinders, which are used to conduct on-site calibration processes for each device on board, ensuring accuracy and quality of the captured data.

She explained that the station is fully equipped to withstand external influences of varying climatic conditions. It is an environmentally friendly vehicle powered by an advanced engine with low emissions, carrying Euro 5 standards. Also, all devices and systems used in the station hold European accreditation.