The environmental change affects cities and their inhabitants more regularly, bringing new challenges for city planners. Among those, there is a need to improve air and water quality and control noise pollution looking to create a healthy and enjoyable environment for city inhabitants. For that, environmental monitoring and management is gaining importance, as understanding and managing the environment and its impacts could increase amounts of regulation and activities to reduce pollution.

In this line, cyber-physical systems and the IoT, understood as the connection and virtual representation of physical devices to the Internet are key in the growth of smart cities. For years, traditional city infrastructure has been monitored using proprietary technologies maintained as individual silos. With the introduction of the IoT, the infrastructure is being connected using open standards (e.g. OGC, W3C) over open standard protocols such as HTTP(S). Additionally, the reduction in the equipment’s size and costs has allowed the expansion of the sensing to more parts, enabling higher fidelity sensing. IoT sensors are able to give accurate real-time data on the environment around us. These technologies allow the measurement of many environmental parameters such as air and water quality, weather, noise, pollen, smoke, and other attributes that may affect the quality of life in a city, including those related to disaster management, such as earthquakes and floods.

Cities planning to deploy IoT based environmental monitoring need to consider some criteria. First, data accuracy, which depends on a number of factors. Cities have to decide how to best balance the accuracy of environmental monitoring by understanding what the data will be used for, against the cost. Sensor location is also very important, having the possibility of placing them in fix or movable locations. The variability in local environmental conditions has a direct impact on environmental data readings, so data analytics is also applied to identify possible variations in readings.

With all the previous, environmental monitoring equipment based on IoT requires a strong communication network to ensure that services can operate effectively and managing platforms. IoT data provide additional value and intelligence when integrated to get a complete view of local environmental conditions and what may be affecting them. IoT big data allows the sharing of IoT and context data so that solutions utilising data from multiple sources can be developed.

EO Relevance

These technologies are a very relevant source of data for EO datacube systems, which enable fusion with further EO data from multiple federated sources into higher-level added-value products. There have already been various successful crowd-sourced efforts to environmental data acquisition, e.g. on particulate matter, temperature, humidity.

Main stakeholders doing R&D: VITO, Nesa, Dewesoft

Main stakeholders in the market: Eléctricas Hermanos Campos S.L., Robert Bosch, Electronics Trafic S.A., Ampere Power Energy, Azigrene Consultores, Cumulus City, Endurance Motive S.L., Atrae Foro de Energía, SENSA Servicios Eléctricos, SoluciónCO2Zero, Labaqua