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Measuring air pollution by differential optical absorption spectometry


LIFE95 ENV/F/000569

Measuring air pollution by differential optical absorption spectometry

Background & policy context: 

Atmospheric pollution is considered a priority in many industrial sites within the European Union, especially in the areas associating harbour facilities and petrochemical plants. This is the case in Normandy and in the region of Le Havre more particularly. Air pollution monitoring is managed by the network 'AIR NORMAND'. In the frame of this project, it is suggested to improve the alert procedures and forecasts into a site which is particularly polluted.


The project which associates four French partners aims to carry out a pilot-operation on a high-industrialised urban site with the presence of petrochemical industries in order to improve the alert procedures of the network ¿AIR NORMAND¿. This would be based on new optical devices and a modelling system of pollutant dispersion. In this respect, two six week field experiments will be carried out on the following:

  • Different methods for measuring pollutants such as long path devices of new technology like DOAS (Differential Optical Absorption Spectrometry) as well as fixed or mobile analysers. 
  • Measurements of meteorological parameters, especially the tridimensional wind speed and atmospheric turbulence. 
  • A modelling system of pollutant dispersion which will integrate whole measurements - including those coming from the DOAS - and which will provide maps of isoconcentrations relating to the study site.

The acquired experience with one of the French monitoring networks to improve the air pollution alert procedures may be useful for other French or European networks with innovative techniques.

Institution Type:
Institution Name: 
European Union
Type of funding:
Contact Name: 
INERIS (Institut National de l'Environnement Industriel et des Risques)
Parc Technologique ALATA BP n° 2
Contact country: