Satellites and AI will be able to monitor the harmful emissions of each factory on Earth

Soon for the owners of factories, plants andpower plants come hard times. The non-profit organization WattTime, dealing with artificial intelligence technologies, using satellite visual intelligence technology will be able to accurately monitor the level of atmospheric pollution (including carbon dioxide emissions) of each factory and factory on Earth in real time. Moreover, all this information will be published in the public domain on the Internet, which will increase data transparency, Vox reports.

Weak monitoring of emissionssubstances into the atmosphere, as well as cases of frequent falsification of observations, cast doubt on the effectiveness of measures taken by governments to reduce environmental pollution. The system developed by WattTime promises to effectively solve these problems.

The company is going to provide datamonitoring not only to regulators and politicians, all information will be in the public domain and anyone will be able to read it. When it comes to protecting the environment, society’s response to unprincipled actions by violators can be more punishing than any regulator’s response. Having up-to-date and reliable information on the levels of local pollution of the environment, people, united, will be able to send direct requests to the governments of their countries so that they take measures to eliminate the problems.

And to unite in this matter is for the sake of what. According to the latest data from the State of Global Air, air pollution ranks fifth among the main factors that increase the risk of premature mortality among the world's population. Every year, 5 million people die and a total of 147 million years of healthy life is lost. At the same time, it is obvious that residents of countries with the largest number of different factories, plants and power plants suffer from air pollution more than others. Now, at least, they will be armed with information.

To monitor air pollution inWattTime intends to use data from satellites of global Earth remote sensing systems, such as the European Union’s Copernicus network (the largest civilian Earth observation project) and the American Landsat network, as well as satellite data from various private companies. All necessary information is collected by spacecraft using different sensors operating with different wavelengths, including the infrared range.

Images will be processed by differentartificial intelligence algorithms that can identify signs of pollution. The company has successfully demonstrated in the past that a significant amount of pollution can be tracked by satellite by detecting regular smoke. With the help of infrared sensors it will be possible to determine the thermal signatures of energy-producing industries. According to WattTime CEO Gavin McCormick, sensors that can directly detect emissions of nitrogen oxide (NO2) into the atmosphere are currently being developed.

In addition to data on thermal observationsWattTime markers, smoke and nitrogen oxide emissions will collect and in real time publish data on the level of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere of each factory on Earth. According to McCormick, the system will also be able to collect information on some water pollutants (nitrates and mercury).

Behind the financing of the project is is Google’s philanthropic wing aimed at implementing various charitable and other projects. WattTime was one of the winners of the AI ​​Impact Challenge contest organized by Google and received a grant of $ 1.7 million for its project.

In addition, WattTime has teamed up withCarbon Tracker, which analyzes the financial performance of various energy sectors (for example, an analysis published last November showed that 42 percent of all coal-fired power plants in the world work at a loss), as well as with the World Resources Institute (WRI), having the most complete at the moment database of all energy-producing stations in the world.

As noted above, WattTime isnon-profit organization. Currently she is under the patronage of the Rocky Mountain Institute. Among the latest developments is the Automated Emissions Reduction (AER) system. The program uses real-time grid data and, using machine learning technologies, determines at which point in time the “cleanest electricity” is produced. This information is then used to automatically adjust energy consumption at a particular point in time, which generally allows minimizing carbon emissions to the atmosphere. The power of many types of systems using common power networks can be changed to reflect the current load. Water heaters, battery charging stations, and some industrial processes are all adaptable and manageable. The AER system is fully automated. In other words, it works on its own, without requiring user input.

You can discuss the news in our Telegram-chat.