New Web Application for control systems of environmental contaminants

Researchers at the University of Extremadura (UEX), in collaboration with other Spanish institutions working in electronic systems for classifying and controlling the gaseous pollutants found in the air of cities, as a tool for the study of climate change. In this cooperation framework already developed several prototypes of electronic nose, a portable device consisting of a set of sensors, just like the human nose, olfactory responses can simulate and perceive any compound or combination of compounds of a smell.

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The electronic nose works by artificial neural networks inspired by the functioning of our brain and allow this electronic mechanism learn through supervised processing techniques type in a pattern recognition software. The nose classified according to what you have learned and the smell becomes a reference to the classification of environmental pollutants. However, it has a limited processing capacity and memory, and does not allow remote access and sharing results.

Now, researchers at the UEx a web application designed for processing and classification of data on-line, the results have been published in the journal Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing. Thus, the data processing is done in connection to a website and a server, which provides more processing power and memory, as well as the classification of the data remotely.

“In addition, the server provides greater computing power and the ability to implement more complex algorithms to the user,” explains Jesus Lozano Rogado, UEx professor and principal investigator of the project (Micro and nano-sensors for monitoring air quality and environmental control the State Program of Research, Development and Innovation Challenges Oriented Society).

Researchers show the electronic nose to detect environmental pollutants. (Photo: UEX / ITEFI-CSIC)

The team is now working on the organization of the data in the cloud and in the development of an application for smartphones. This advance will provide many advantages for transfer to society to be a tool that will allow users and researchers to obtain data for the evolution of climate change.

This study is part of TEMINAIR project, which has just begun with several objectives. One is to develop advanced gas sensors for detecting environmental pollutants responsible for climate change. “The sensors are based on the properties of a material to absorb certain types of gases change some property. Measure the change of an electrical property, which is calculated as a change in voltage, resistance or frequency “describes the researcher José Pedro Santos White ITEFI-CSIC.

“This provides a ‘fingerprint’ of gas or group of gases that are perceived by smell adds. Our goal is the main air pollutants for which monitoring is required by European legislation, such as hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide nitrogen, ammonia and ozone BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene), among others. “

To optimize the sensors, researchers are working with various advanced materials, graphene, nanowires and nanofibers tin oxide, zinc oxide and polymers with different structures. The aim is to deploy these sensors in large numbers through sensor networks and nodes using devices that connect to mobile.

It also aims at conceiving TEMINAIR instrumentation systems and advanced processing to extract the information from the sensors and determine, quantify and classify gases. Researchers at the School of Industrial Engineering of UEx are responsible for this work precise instrumentation. The project is coordinated by the University of Barcelona and also involved the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Barcelona Institute of Microelectronics, CEIT and the Institute of Physical Technologies and Information Leonardo Torres Quevedo (ITEFI) of the CSIC in Madrid. (Source: University of Extremadura)

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