SMS – Smoggy Message Service
Street specific air pollution warnings will soon be available via text-messages in a pioneering project being tested in Central London and the Borough of Croydon. The European Space Agency (ESA) backed prototype service will initially warn around a thousand asthma sufferers prior to an elevation in air pollution, with additional patients to follow. The YourAir service, however, surpasses current models because it resolves air pollution down to the scale of individual streets.
The system can also predict harmful levels of nitrogen dioxide, ozone and airborne particles that are harmful to people with asthma, lung and heart problems. Sufferers in the borough of Croydon will receive this information directly via text message, in a linked project called AirTEXT. YourAir, and the AirTEXT sister project, are being developed by Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants (CERC) as a demonstration service of ESA's PROMOTE project. The PROMOTE program is part of Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), a joint initiative between the ESA and the European Union that coordinates all available atmospheric, space and ground based information to develop beneficial operational services for organizations and citizens.
The messages will also advise on steps those most at risk can take to minimize their pollution exposure and manage their symptoms. The AirTEXT and YourAir services are not only useful to those with health problems, as the high concentrations of pollutants often found along routes with heavy pollution sources can also harm healthy people.