5 air quality monitoring technologies by CMU for tackling haze and pm 2.5

11 March 2021

Corporate Communication and Alumni Relations Center (CCARC)

It cannot be denied that Thailand is facing problems regarding the haze and pm 2.5, which are affecting all regions, especially in the Northern region, and negatively impacting people’s health, the quality of life, and the economy. All parties are taking the issue seriously and trying to promote proper resolution. Chiang Mai University has set up an academic working party to support the effort to tackle the pollution problem in the region. Comprising experts from various fields, the working party acts as the source of accurate information, conducts research, provides suggestions, transfers innovations, and develops equipment that allows organisations and the public to monitor the air quality.

1. Fire Management Decision Support System (FireD) provides support regarding decisions about biomass fuel management to relevant authorities when approving or disapproving certain activities that require fire during the wildfire season. A “necessary fire” refers to a fire that is used at an appropriate place and time, with a minimal effect on the overall air quality. This system employs data on haze prediction, weather, hotspots, and ventilation rate. Developed by Assist.Prof.Dr. Chakrit Chotamonsak, Lecturer at the Department of Geography and Director of the Regional Centre for Climate and Environmental Studies (RCCES), Faculty of Social Science, the system is expected to be an alternative resolution to the pollution problem.

2. Thai Air Quality is an application that provides an air quality forecast for Thailand and neighbouring countries up to 3 days in advance, and it can also provide self-care tips for different risk groups and activity groups. This application, also developed by Assist.Prof.Dr. Chakrit Chotamonsak, is available on both iOS and Android.

3. Northern Thailand Air Quality Health Index (NTAQHI) was created to expand the network that monitors haze and alerts people in the Northern region about the health hazards. The index provides an hourly real-time update along with daily averages with an explanation of each index level. Moreover, this user-friendly system, developed by Prof. Khuanchai Supparatpinyo, M.D., and the IT team at the Research Institute for Health Sciences, CMU, provides suggestions on how to mitigate the health risks from air pollution.

4. DUSTBOY is a small, sensor-based dust detector that measures the air quality and provides real-time data and alerts on air pollution. So far, it has been installed at 400 locations throughout the country and those numbers are expected to reach 2,000 – 3,000, covering every sub-district. For the CMU area, the data can be accessed in an instant via CMU Mobile application. This technology is developed by Assoc.Prof. Dr. Sate Sampattagul, Director of Climate Change Data Centre, Faculty of Engineering.

5. Thermal Imaging UAV, created for wildfire prevention and control, tracks the air quality using satellite data. It was developed by Dr. Phonpat Hemwan, Lecturer at the Department of Geography and Director of Regional Centre for Geo-Informatics and Space Technology, Northern Region (GISTNORTH), Faculty of Social Sciences, using the Web GIS Application to report situational data on pm 2.5 and pollution hotspots detected by NASA’s TERRA/AQUA-MODIS and Suomi NPP VIIRS.

CMU recognises the significance of the haze and pm 2.5 problems and is committed to resolve the situation through new innovations that tackle the issue from all dimensions.

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