Integrated System for Intelligent Regional
Environmental Monitoring & Management:
ISIREMM Project description

INNOVATION

ISIREMM builds on the results of a FW4 Environmental Telematics project, ECOSIM (EN1006); using ECOSIM as a starting point, ISIREMM adds a number of innovative elements to:

  • Develop an approach, architecture, and operational prototype system that is better applicable to the realities of NIS environmental pollution problems; This is primarily achieved through fully exploiting a range of local data acquisition and monitoring systems, and the integration of locally developed simulation model components;

  • Advance the state-of-the-art in air quality modeling with the integration and innovative use of different types of monitoring data including time series of point measurements, data from mobile and airborne units including optical and acoustic measurements that are spatially integrated or volumetric, and remote sensing and satellite imagery, as well as model components that directly use these data;

  • Combine a management information and decision support tool for technical users with a public information system for the population at large to help raise environmental awareness and empower NIS citizens to participate in the environmental policy making process.

From a technical and scientific point of view, ISIREMM is based on a flexible client-server architecture that makes full use of the publicly available Internet and its well-standardised protocols (TCP/IP and http).

This basic architecture supports the flexible integration of a wide range of information resources, and form the backbone of an innovative institutional co-operation: service providers (established research institutions that are looking for new sources of revenues under radically changing economic conditions) can offer their consultancy to users (regional and local administrations, large industrial enterprises, and the general public) through a new vehicle for delivery of information services, namely the Internet. The state-of-the-art in the research area is perfectly describes in two specially prepared reports issued by relevant 4FP Programme (Lee and Durnville, 1998: Telematics Technologies Applied to the Environment. and Telematics Application Programme, Environment Sector, Area1. Air Quality and Emissions, 1988). According those reports a number of FW4 Projects (ECOSIM, EFFECT, EMMA, ENVIROCITY, REMSSBOT, SIGMA and TEMSIS) resulted in significant progress in the area.

However, there are still open questions on how one can integrate into one reliable system smart sensors, satellite data, GIS, advanced modelling tools, DSS and results representation to arrive at a reliable prediction of the state of the environment under varying anthropogenic and natural pressures in an industrial center and its vicinity. Also, it is stressed that not all regions of Europe enjoy currently available systems, needless to mention those in NIS and some Eastern Europe countries.

This Project is aimed to fill the gap in the both direction, integrating advanced research results into the developed system and demonstrating the advantages of such an approach in a typical NIS location, namely Tomsk in Siberia. Among key innovative elements are remote optical and acoustical sensors, which collect distributed 3D (volumetric) data on both the state of the atmosphere (temperature, humidity, wind velocity) and on pollutant concentrations in the scanned volume. Satellite imagery is integrated into the system to get electronic map of chosen city and region and for mapping and identification of major point source plumes for model initialisation/calibration.

Such an approach should compensate for the typical lack of regular air quality sensor networks, which, in combination with the models, support a reasonable 3D reconstruction of air pollution over cities and industries and their transport to neighbouring regions. Also it leads to innovative use for simplified efficient models relying on volumetric data flow. The computational efficiency of this modeling approach will yield quite realistic real-time support for management of environmental situations in emergency and open new ways for pollution mitigation.

Based on 3D hydro-thermodynamics, an advanced atmospheric model allows to determine the joint influence of topography and heat islands (the temperature structure formed by the city activity and above the city clouds and natural IR distributions) on local atmospheric circulation, to forecast a transport of pollutants in the atmosphere of industrial regions and on the base of variation principle to optimise model correspondence with observations. The model employs the volumetric data to form initial values and boundary conditions, which yields simplification of calculations, improvement of prognosis and allows to optimise sensor positioning and regimes of operation. Being adapted to regional climate and topography, it provides the basis for quick and reliable forecasts for environment impacts, and thus the key to mitigation.

Amongst the remote sensors to be employed are aerosol lidars to monitor the transfer of pollutants above the city and to quantify the amount of those emitted from a chosen source. Operating in scanning regime, the aerosol lidar provides data on clouds, boundary layer 3D aerosol distribution and its variation with time. Those together with local measurements allow one to retrieve a current polluting aerosol field, to monitor its evolution, and to map and quantify emissions. The next sensor is an all-sky photometer, which determines the daytime behaviour of industrial plumes and clouds as well as measures incoming solar radiation fluxes including those of importance for temperature distribution above the city IR spectral band and the UV-B radiation harmful to people.

An acoustic locator (Sodar) is employed to measure a vertical distribution of temperature and the wind velocity, both being of importance for the fate of pollutants in the atmosphere. A Raman lidar is used for short-range determination of the composition and amount of emissions from high stacks. Specifics of the sensor set and the model employed allow the proposed system to combine both conventionally used functions:

  • to reconstruct an adequate pollution distribution within the city, together with a forecast of its evolution, and import and export on a regional scale;

  • to identify emission sources who contribute significantly to the overall ambient pollution level either due to their location or because of exceedance of legal emission limits.

The possibility to perform both these tasks simultaneously is another innovation proposed by the project.


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