British cyclists become pollution sensors

Teams of cyclists and pedestrians are wearing sensors to measure air and noise pollution in four British cities. These mobile data collectors will help government-backed researchers pinpoint "pollution hot spots" and develop new policies for managing air quality.

The pocket-sized sensors can detect up to five different types of vehicle emissions at a time, then transmit data to Imperial College London via mobile phone. Imperial College researchers will track measurements and sensor movement on Google maps. Additional sensors mounted on traffic signals and street lamps will help the researchers make 3-D models of pollution clouds to determine if traffic signal patterns have an effect on air quality.

The three-year project, called Mobile Environmental Sensing System Across Grid Environments, or MESSAGE, involves 100 mobile and stationary sensors in Gateshead, Cambridge and Leicester, England, as well as the South Kensington district of London.

To learn more about the MESSAGE project:
- check out this SkyNews story