Atmosphere’s Tech Helps Local Leaders Create and Monitor Air Quality Strategies

Understory's new technology, called Atmosphere, identifies high-pollutant zones and prescribes actionable remediation steps for air quality improvement. It's live now in Dallas.

Atmosphere

Weather network and analytics company Understory unveiled a real-time air quality and weather monitoring technology—already live in Dallas—that delivers hyper-local insights to civic leaders to formulate and monitor air quality improvement strategies.

Wisconsin-based Understory revealed the technology, called Atmosphere, in Poland this past weekend at the 9th Annual Sustainable Innovation Forum, an affiliate event of COP24, the 24th Session of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Shown is an example of the Understory hardware sensors deployed in Dallas. [Photo courtesy of Understory]

In cities including Dallas, Atmosphere identifies high pollution zones and prescribes what the company calls “actionable remediation steps” for air quality improvement.

The company said it plans to expand Atmosphere to cities around the world throughout the coming year.

Here’s how it works: Hyperlocal sensors within an urban center use a combination of weather and air quality data to understand pollutant sources. Then, the technology aggregates and analyzes the data from the sensors to present a clear, concise picture of the urban center’s atmosphere.

The Atmosphere technology is able to pinpoint sources of the worst pollutants and forecast the onset of unhealthy levels of indicators, such as ozone and nitrous oxide, in real time.

Government leaders in the area can then take action, such as regulating traffic or enabling tolls and HOV lanes. They can also issue warnings to reduce the impact of unhealthy pollutant levels on their local citizens.

Understory CEO Alex Kubicek explained that the technology shows the dynamic nature of weather and air quality.

“Without weather, air quality is only seen through a static lense,” he said. “Marrying weather and air quality together in one network allows it to be seen as it truly is, incredibly dynamic.”

Accurate, real-time weather data is necessary

Kubicek said that precise weather and air quality data conducted live allows Understory to better understand a city’s air quality on a more granular level over time.

Atmosphere

Understory’s Atmosphere comprehensively assesses the effect weather and air quality conditions can have on cities, communities, and businesses. Those interested in scheduling an introductory workshop can check out the Project Atmosphere site. [Photo courtesy of Understory]

“By understanding where air quality has been, where it is, and where it’s going,” he said, “We’re able to facilitate immediate modifications within a city’s operations to lessen the impact of detrimental changes in air quality on community members in economical ways.”

The technology makes air pollution reduction strategies in urban environments possible, because without affordable, accurate, real-time data on atmospheric conditions—the strategies would be difficult to formulate.

Understory said that municipal leaders need insights that are fiscally feasible, economically advantageous, politically viable, and actionable in order to support meaningful changes toward better air quality.

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