Internet of things upgrades air monitoring
A technician from Wuxi CAS Photonics uses a lidar (light detection and ranging) product to monitor air pollution. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Wuxi CAS Photonics, a high-tech company focusing on atmospheric monitoring in Wuxi, in Jiangsu province, said it has made remarkable achievements in the area by using internet of things technologies -- with a series of cutting-edge lidar (or light detection and ranging) products that have been developed to enhance detection of air pollutants.
"Lidar can be regarded as a large sensor of atmospheric monitoring. It works by sending laser signals into the air to detect pollutants and receiving echo signals," said Zhou Jianfeng, general manager assistant of Wuxi CAS Photonics.
"Related data is analyzed in built-in software to get the pollutant concentration in a certain area. Simply put, the biggest characteristic of the device is that it can tell in advance the concentration of pollutants such as PM2.5 and PM10 particles," he added.
Zhou said lidar beats traditional methods of atmospheric monitoring by offering more complete and accurate data, showing precisely the type, source, distribution characteristics and evolving trend of air pollutants in a certain area.
"Traditional devices focus mainly on a certain point, and thus cover only a narrow range of areas, say, several hundred meters, while our lidar products can detect pollutants in an area within a radius of 5 to 10 kilometers," Zhou said.
"Besides, traditional devices can only capture data at a fixed time point while the lidar products support continuous data capturing, so that the changing trend of pollutant distribution in a certain area will be generated, which can provide more accurate information for the environmental management of governments and environment authorities."
The company has also developed a special vehicle to complement its atmospheric monitoring. Equipped with lidar products, the vehicle allows researchers to observe the air quality of different areas and quickly locate the source of pollution, providing helpful information for environment authorities to carry out immediate and effective measures.
With these products, the company has safeguarded the air environment for many important activities in the country, such as the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, the 2015 World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, the 2016 G20 Summit in Hangzhou, and the 2019 Belt and Road Summit in Beijing.