The quality of the air we breathe is critical for our health. Even if the negative effects of poor air quality are not necessarily immediately evident, the long-term consequences of air pollution have in the meantime been well documented by scientists.
This makes it all the more important to ascertain and predict air quality. In the framework of an EU project, obsAIRveYourBusiness , an app has now been developed to supply daily air quality forecasts for the city of Augsburg. The app, developped by GAF AG, uses the forecasts generated routinely at DFD for southern Bavaria. It is available free of charge for Apple and Android operating systems.
Project partners in obsAIRveYourBusiness are "Regio Augsburg Wirtschaft GmbH", "bavAIRia e.V.", "GAF AG", "German Aerospace Center, site at Oberpfaffenhofen", "INNOVA", "CORILA" and "Airparif".
The forecasts used in the app are generated at DFD with the help of the POLYPHEMUS/DLR model and based on up-to-date information. The model calculates the propagation and chemical reactions of the most relevant air pollutants, including ozone, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter. These pollutants are considered to be particularly harmful to human health. The model results are aggregated in the app using the Common Air Quality Index to yield a single value which gives an indication of the pollution situation.
DFD is actively engaged in research on air quality monitoring based on satellite observations and models. The findings from POLYPHEMUS/DLR and other methodologies relating to the composition of the atmosphere are available to interested users from the World Data Center for Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere (WDC-RSAT), also independently of the app.