Using digital cameras, this project monitors for particulates in the air. California’s Central Valley suffers from some of the worst air pollution in the nation and yet there are only a handful of monitoring sites that can provide real-time measurements of pollution levels. Digital cameras of static scenes focusing on fixed objects, like the Sierra Nevada Mountains, offer a cost-effective alternative to using specialized monitoring equipment.
The key technical challenge involved in this project is developing processing techniques for estimating pollution levels, specifically particulate concentrations. The project is currently studying reduced visibility from static images as a result of higher concentrations of particulate pollution.